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New digital technologies will help EMCO mine coal more efficiently

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Coal,

EMCO specialists have created a 3D model of their Solntsevsky Deposit in Sakhalin, Russia. It gives a more accurate picture not only of the surface but also of the structure of the deposit reserves for the entire explored depth: bedding of coal seams, the volume of reserves, quality and physico-mechanical characteristics of coal and the amount of overburden. From 2020, the new digital pit model will be able to predict the prospects of field development more accurately, and therefore implement EMCO plans of coal production at Solntsevsky coal mine more effectively in order to quickly choose the most optimal variant of mining operations.

To create a digital version of the quarry, the company's specialists used the capabilities of the Micromine information system, the most advanced in mining and geological works.

"Implementation of Micromine software allow us to move to a completely new level of work, to optimise the process of short-term planning of mining operations, to make it more qualitative and operational, taking into account many factors. Specialists of the enterprise can now independently and in a short time to perform the tasks of design organisations and give ready-made solutions with optimal development of the field," said the Chief Surveyor of Solntsevky Coal Mine, Yuri Zalunin.

To create the 3D-model of the field, data from earlier geological prospecting and production works, digitised drawings of previous years, data from classical mine surveying and aerial photographs were used. This information was integrated into the system and processed into a single all-in-one model of the deposit within Solntsevsky coal mine.

One of the key features of the program is the ability to predict the characteristics of the coal planned for production, which allows EMCO to optimally ensure the production of high-quality solid fuel. This is extremely important in a competitive Asian-Pacific market.

The specialists plan to develop an automatic algorithm for rebuilding the production unit model taking into account new exploration and exploitation data. This will allow quick adjustments to be made to the model if necessary.

The launch of the Micromine system not only opens up new opportunities for coal mining, but also transforms the 'workplace' of the Solntsevsky mine employees responsible for mining and geological modelling and planning of mining operations. To manage these processes on the basis of the new software package, the existing service of the enterprise, currently consisting of two specialists, will be transformed. In the near future, the number of employees will increase significantly. All of them will undergo the necessary training to work in the new conditions, and the service will be complete with modern equipment.

The introduction of the mining and geological Micromine information system is EMCO's next step towards the creation of an integrated geoinformation space, which allows the improvement of the processes associated with coal mining and the achievement of new, more ambitious production indicators. Earlier, an automated control system for mining and transport equipment was introduced. It allowed for a significant modification of this process and reduced costs associated with the previous management system of the vehicle fleet.

According to the results of 2018, EMCO exported 7.5 million t of products, entering the list of the 20 largest coal producers in Russia, as well as the top ten exporters of Russian coal. In the future, this figure is planned to be increased up to 20 million t.

A number of large-scale investment projects of the company are implemented within the free port of Vladivostok. EMCO not only develops production and shipment of coal, but also creates conditions for the formation and development of service areas in the Sakhalin region.

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