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A week in coal: 6 March 2015

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World Coal,

This week has been marked by the tragic mine explosion in Donetsk, Ukraine, which claimed the lives of 33 miners. The mine is in an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists, which declared independence from Kiev last year. Initial reports suggest a methane explosion was responsible for the blast.

Remaining on the theme of mine safety and Bruce Watzman of the US National Mining Association (NMA) this week argued in a column for this website that, if the mining industry is to achieve its goal of zero fatalities, it need to move beyond the regulatory model of mine health and safety and embrace an operations and systems approach that is tailor made to the specific mine.

There was more bad news from China as its powerful National Development and Reform Commission announced plans to reduce coal consumption and control the number of energy-intensive projects in polluted regions. China's top energy official, Nur Bekri, said in comments published by the National Energy Administration that improving efficiency and environmental standards for coal would be a key component of China's energy policy this year.

Elsewhere, Rio Tinto announced it would be developing its capabilities in a new type of mining: data mining. The company is opening a Analytics Excellence Centre in India help assess the massive volumes of data captured by the array of sensors attached to Rio Tinto’s fixed and mobile equipment and enable experts to predict and prevent engine breakdowns and other downtime events, significantly boosting productivity and safety.

And finally, we say a happy birthday to the DMT brand, which celebrated its 25th anniversary. Tracing its origins back to 1737, the company we know today was launched in 1990 as a provider of engineering and technical consulting services for the oil and gas , mining, infrastructure and the process and mechanical engineering industries.

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