Special Issue "Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing"

A special issue of Resources (ISSN 2079-9276).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 February 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Krzysztof Galos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences Wybickiego 7A, 31261 Kraków, Poland
Interests: minerals management; economic geology; mineral policy; mineral deposits valuation and safeguarding; applied mineralogy; circular economy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The availability of raw mineral materials is vital to the development of a competitive industry with socioeconomic growth. This is especially the case in the economically developed countries of the European Union, where the strategic importance of raw mineral materials for manufacturing has been highlighted in the new EU Industrial Policy Strategy. Raw mineral materials are essential to the development of the EU’s industrial sectors across all value chains. They determine the quality of life and technological progress. The use of global metals and minerals has been increasing due to advanced technological progress and the rapid growth of demand in emerging countries. It is estimated that between 2010 and 2030 the volume of the world’s resource consumption could double. There is growing concern about potential limitations of raw mineral material supplies from non-European countries. Meanwhile supplies of raw mineral materials from secondary sources are not enough to meet the demand of downstream manufacturing sectors. Therefore, European countries will remain strongly dependent on access to raw mineral materials from primary sources, i.e., mineral deposits, which are strictly dependent on various geological, mining, technological, market, environmental, land use, and legal and social factors.

In this context, this Special Issue was designed to enable the presentation of results of research in the field. This will include various aspects of mineral resource management, e.g., best practices in prospecting and exploration of mineral deposits, methods of rational mineral deposit management, mine planning and mining exploitation, optimization of mineral processing, and the economics of mineral resource use, as well as supplementary raw mineral material markets and other issues related to mineral depositsmanagement within mineral policy frameworks.

Prof. Dr. Krzysztof Galos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • best practices in prospecting and exploration of mineral deposits
  • rational mineral deposits management and exploitation
  • optimization of mineral processing
  • economics of mineral resources use
  • raw mineral material markets

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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Article
Lamination and Its Impact on the Physical and Mechanical Properties of the Permian and Triassic Terrestrial Sandstones
Resources 2021, 10(5), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10050042 - 01 May 2021
Viewed by 646
Abstract
The sandstones with a laminated structure are common building materials. Lamination is macroscopically expressed as colour and grain size variations observed both in the deposit and within individual beds; therefore, the properties of such sandstones are diverse depending on the spatial distribution of [...] Read more.
The sandstones with a laminated structure are common building materials. Lamination is macroscopically expressed as colour and grain size variations observed both in the deposit and within individual beds; therefore, the properties of such sandstones are diverse depending on the spatial distribution of the binding mass and framework components. For the terrestrial sandstones of different genesis, four types of laminae have been distinguished based on petrographic studies. They have a siliceous binder or a mixed ferruginous–siliceous–argillaceous binder with different proportions of these components. In laminae of types I–III, the grain framework is built mainly of quartz grains, and in type IV, it is accompanied by numerous lithoclasts and feldspars. Knoop hardness and CERCHAR abrasivity were tested in each lamina variety, and the results were correlated with the equivalent quartz content and the longitudinal ultrasonic wave velocity measured perpendicular and parallel to the lamination. The proposed research methodology was not used in previous studies on terrestrial laminated sandstones. The results explain a strong dependence between mineral composition, structure of laminae, and technical parameters of rocks. The knowledge of this relationship facilitates the selection of rocks that meet the relevant technical requirements and helps to optimally manage the resources of sandstone deposits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Article
Is the EU’s Resource Base of Copper Ore Deposits Large? A Fuzzy Set Theory Approach
Resources 2021, 10(2), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10020011 - 27 Jan 2021
Viewed by 917
Abstract
Copper raw materials have not been identified as a critical raw material for the economy of the European Union (EU). Demand for metal for use within the EU is satisfied mainly by imports of raw materials in various processing stages and from recycling. [...] Read more.
Copper raw materials have not been identified as a critical raw material for the economy of the European Union (EU). Demand for metal for use within the EU is satisfied mainly by imports of raw materials in various processing stages and from recycling. Imports include not only copper concentrates, but also refined metals, alloys, and intermediate and finished products. In terms of EU imports, mining supplies represent a minor share of demand. It is likely that copper demand will grow in the coming decades and that global as well as European reserves of copper will be depleted more rapidly. For Europe, no complete and harmonised dataset presenting estimates of total EU copper resources and reserves exists, with the exception of the attempted Minerals4EU project. In colloquial language, many imprecise concepts aim at describing reality. Classic probability tools cannot be used to describe imperfect information. There are no sharp thresholds between the boundaries of many measurements; instead, smooth transitions are observed. This gradation between full and partial membership and non-membership is not included in classical set theory; thus, the capacity for describing such effects is provided by fuzzy set theory. An attempt is made in the present paper at a fuzzy description of the copper reserve base in the EU countries. The basic terminology of fuzzy sets is presented and useful logical operators are indicated. The copper reserve base in the EU countries was assessed in relation to world reserves and an appraisal of this base within these countries was carried out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Article
Technical Aspects of Mining Rate Improvement in Steeply Inclined Coal Seams: A Case Study
Resources 2020, 9(12), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9120138 - 24 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 786
Abstract
This paper presents our experience obtained when mining the thick and steeply-inclined Seam 510 in the Polish Kazimierz-Juliusz coal mine with the use of a unique mechanical face mining system. Seam 510, which is 15–20 m thick and inclined at angles of 40°–45°, [...] Read more.
This paper presents our experience obtained when mining the thick and steeply-inclined Seam 510 in the Polish Kazimierz-Juliusz coal mine with the use of a unique mechanical face mining system. Seam 510, which is 15–20 m thick and inclined at angles of 40°–45°, was initially treated as uneconomical because effective mining systems were not available. However, to extract high-quality coal resources, a completely mechanized variant of the sublevel caving system was designed based on standard machines and equipment applied in coal mining. Extraction was conducted top-down at the levels of the particular mining sub-level drifts with roof caving. The faces in the extracted coal release areas were protected by a single pair of specially designed mechanized mining system sections. One of the basic problems revealed during extraction of subsequent mining panels, was the observed changeability of the resource mining rates. The extraction losses changed in the available resources from less than 10% to about 50%. This paper presents two typical courses of changes in the extractable resource mining rates. Similar rate changes occurred in both cases with continued mining of a single seam section. Our analysis enabled deposit loss estimations and production output planning under the sublevel caving systems applied in the extraction of seam deposits of similar structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Article
Specific Features of Mapping Large Discontinuous Faults by the Method of Electromagnetic Emission
Resources 2020, 9(11), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9110135 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 828
Abstract
In this paper, the authors consider the issue of processing the data of electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) recorded in mine workings and their interpretation. The Sami fault (Russia, the Murmansk region) was chosen as the object of the research. A number of experiments, including [...] Read more.
In this paper, the authors consider the issue of processing the data of electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) recorded in mine workings and their interpretation. The Sami fault (Russia, the Murmansk region) was chosen as the object of the research. A number of experiments, including measuring the EMP level along the fault and the analysis of the results, were performed by the authors. The paper also presents a previously unconsidered method of transition from geological concepts to electro-technical ones, the aim of which is to identify the dependences of the amplitude of electromagnetic field anomalies on the parameters of active tectonic disturbances. The authors assumed the dependence of the amplitude of anomalies on the geological parameters of the rock mass and the thickness of the tectonic disturbance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Article
The Resource Base of Silica Glass Sand versus Glass Industry Development: The Case of Poland
Resources 2020, 9(11), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9110134 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1028
Abstract
The production of glass in Poland, especially of container and flat glass, has constantly risen for at least 30 years. New investments in this sector, which have recently been completed or are currently in progress, create optimistic prospects for further development of this [...] Read more.
The production of glass in Poland, especially of container and flat glass, has constantly risen for at least 30 years. New investments in this sector, which have recently been completed or are currently in progress, create optimistic prospects for further development of this industry, whose total annual production capacities in the next few years is expected to exceed 4 million tons. This will result in increasing demand for basic glass-making raw materials, especially high-quality silica sand (glass sand), which can be satisfied almost entirely from domestic sources. Poland as a country with a considerable resource base of these mineral raw materials, has noted a constantly growing production level that currently reaches approximately 2.8 million tons per year. This paper aims to characterize and interpret the development trends in the Polish glass industry in an international context, as well as the resulting increase in demand for glass sand. In this context, an attempt was made to answer questions concerning the sufficiency of the Polish domestic resource base for the production of glass sand. For this study, the leading recent international and Polish analyses, related to glass industry development, the resource base of glass silica sand, and the management of these types of sand, were taken into account, and were complemented by official statistical data and surveying of domestic glass producers. The performed analysis showed that when taking into account the available glass sand resources in developed deposits in Poland, it is possible to continue production at the existing or a slightly increasing level for another 20–25 years. Based on a more comprehensive perspective, however, it would be a good approach to continue providing access to those parts of currently extracted deposits of silica sand and sandstone that are now located outside of the existing exploitation licenses, as well as enabling the development of some satellite deposits in the Tomaszów Basin, which may prove difficult due to environmental factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Article
The Variability of Mercury Content in Bituminous Coal Seams in the Coal Basins in Poland
Resources 2020, 9(11), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9110127 - 30 Oct 2020
Viewed by 822
Abstract
The mercury content in bituminous coal in Poland varies depending on the coal basin. The highest of its concentrations are recorded in the Lower Silesian Coal Basin where this may be the result of the volcanic activity reported there. A much lower average [...] Read more.
The mercury content in bituminous coal in Poland varies depending on the coal basin. The highest of its concentrations are recorded in the Lower Silesian Coal Basin where this may be the result of the volcanic activity reported there. A much lower average of Hg content was recorded in Lublin and the Upper Silesian Coal Basins (LCB and USCB), although it was higher in the former. A higher mercury concentration in the LCB is probably related to the zone of supposed deep disturbances, named the Karpinsky lineament. Most published works present the data on the mercury content in the bulk of mined coal. The preliminary assessment of mercury content in coal seams indicates that it varies considerably between and within them. It is bound to the presence of arsenic-bearing iron sulfides. Concentration of mercury in small zones of limited extent suggests it was introduced by migrating fluids. The knowledge of mercury content distribution in coal seams would improve the prediction of its content in the mined coal and allow better management of produced coal quality with the aim of reducing mercury emission to the atmosphere as a result of coal combustion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Article
Dolomites as SO2 Sorbents in Fluid Combustion Technology
Resources 2020, 9(10), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9100121 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 797
Abstract
Dolomites are not used as SO2 sorbents in fluid combustion technology. The literature data show fundamental discrepancies in the possibility of such use. They mainly concern the role of magnesium in the sorption process of SO2 and the durability of desulfurization [...] Read more.
Dolomites are not used as SO2 sorbents in fluid combustion technology. The literature data show fundamental discrepancies in the possibility of such use. They mainly concern the role of magnesium in the sorption process of SO2 and the durability of desulfurization products under high-temperature conditions. The article demonstrates that MgO is actively involved in the SO2 binding under fluidized furnace conditions. The resulting products of sulfation contain magnesium in their compositions, and their thermal transformations begin only after the temperature exceeds 1100 °C. It has been shown that dolomites are a potential raw material for the production of SO2 sorbents for fluid combustion technology, and their use is justified due to the higher desulfurization efficiency. Parameters of dolomite descriptions were given, by which it will be possible to predict the effects of flue gas desulfurization before the dolomites’ use in industrial conditions. It has been shown that there are opportunities to expand the domestic raw-material base for the production of SO2 sorbents, based on both dolomite resources present in deposits and dolomite waste accumulated in dumps, as well as generated during the current exploitation and processing of dolomites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Article
Modeling of Washing Effectiveness in a High-Pressure Washing Device Obtained for Crushed-Stone and Gravel Aggregates
Resources 2020, 9(10), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9100119 - 05 Oct 2020
Viewed by 831
Abstract
This article concerns research on washing effectiveness of a high-pressure washing device. Three types of investigations were carried out: Laboratory tests on washing of crushed-stone and gravel aggregate, as well as pilot-scale tests on crushed-stone aggregate. Laboratory tests were conducted for four changeable [...] Read more.
This article concerns research on washing effectiveness of a high-pressure washing device. Three types of investigations were carried out: Laboratory tests on washing of crushed-stone and gravel aggregate, as well as pilot-scale tests on crushed-stone aggregate. Laboratory tests were conducted for four changeable parameters and pilot-scale investigations for three parameters. All tests were performed based on factorial experiment procedure. For each type of material there was built a model based on multiple regression method. Results of investigations showed that operating pressure in the washer has the highest effect on obtained washing effectiveness, measured as a degree of dust impurities’ removal from feed. The second parameter with the highest impact on washing process effectiveness was the maximum particle of feed, and its relationship to the obtained washing effectiveness appeared inversely proportional. For the crushed-stone aggregate the susceptibility of washing also appeared significant in models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Article
Sources and Markets of Limestone Flour in Poland
Resources 2020, 9(10), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9100118 - 30 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 887
Abstract
Limestone flour is used in a variety of industrial sectors such as power and heat generation, glass-making, paper-making, the construction industry and construction materials manufacturing, the production of agriculture, plastics and rubber goods, as well as coal mining, and environmental protection. This paper [...] Read more.
Limestone flour is used in a variety of industrial sectors such as power and heat generation, glass-making, paper-making, the construction industry and construction materials manufacturing, the production of agriculture, plastics and rubber goods, as well as coal mining, and environmental protection. This paper aims to characterize and interpret the limestone flour supply and demand trends in the main applications in Poland in the last decade. In order to track the changes of domestic consumption for this commodity, its major users have been surveyed along with analyses of data from the Statistics Poland (GUS). The results showed that during 2009–2018 the coal-fired power plants became the biggest customer of limestone flour utilized as a sorbent in the wet flue gas desulfurization method (FGD). This method has been implemented in the vast majority of Polish power plants. It is estimated that in the last decade the total annual production capacity of limestone flour at the milling plants in Poland increased by 1.5 million tons, to around 6.0 million tons. In the forthcoming years, this is expected to continue to increase despite EU restrictions on fossil fuel use (especially hard coal and lignite). Other promising areas of future growth are: for limestone flour of medium quality—the construction materials manufacturing and the construction industry itself, for limestone flour of the highest quality—the glass industry, while for fine-grained limestone flour of high-quality—the plastics and rubber industries. In terms of resource security, it is worth noting that Poland is a country rich in limestone deposits. However, only some of them, that is, limestone rock varieties of the Jurassic and Devonian ages from the Kielce vicinity in central Poland are suitable for the production of high-quality limestone flour for the needs of the mentioned industries. The paper analyses the potential of the limestone flour production from the available limestone rock deposits with respect to the current and future needs of the domestic market in Poland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Article
Ash Characteristics and Selected Critical Elements (Ga, Sc, V) in Coal and Ash in Polish Deposits
Resources 2020, 9(9), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9090115 - 19 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 949
Abstract
The chemical composition of coal ash and the content of the critical elements Ga, Sc, and V in coal and ash are examined herein. In this study, lignite and bituminous coal from Polish deposits were used. The coals were subjected to ultimate and [...] Read more.
The chemical composition of coal ash and the content of the critical elements Ga, Sc, and V in coal and ash are examined herein. In this study, lignite and bituminous coal from Polish deposits were used. The coals were subjected to ultimate and proximate analysis; the petrographic composition was determined based on maceral groups. The chemical composition of ash and the content of critical elements were determined using ICP-MS. The obtained results were correlated and Pearson’s linear correlation coefficient was determined. Based on the correlation analysis, the relationship between the chemical composition of ash and the proximate and ultimate analyses was demonstrated. The content of selected critical elements in the tested deposits was lower than the Clarke value in coal. However, in some deposits these contents are much higher in coal ashes. The higher levels of Ga, V, and Sc in the ash are associated with Al2O3. Therefore, it can be stated that ashes can be a potential source of some raw materials. The highest concentrations of critical elements in coal and ash were recorded in the Lublin Coal Basin. Supra-Clarke contents of Ga, V, and Sc were recorded in the Bogdanka coal mine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Article
Method of Selecting Opening Cut Location Using Multi-Criteria Analysis of Decision Variant Mapping
Resources 2020, 9(9), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9090112 - 11 Sep 2020
Viewed by 956
Abstract
The aim of the article is to present a solution to the research problem that addresses the selection of the opening cut location in the surface mining method. Selecting the opening cut location is a strategic mine planning matter and has a key [...] Read more.
The aim of the article is to present a solution to the research problem that addresses the selection of the opening cut location in the surface mining method. Selecting the opening cut location is a strategic mine planning matter and has a key impact on the overall processes occurring during mining operations. This choice is a complex, and at the same time, mathematically ill-defined issue. The selection procedure should take into account many, often opposing, perspectives of the interveners, who represent the criteria laid down by the technical and organisational, economic, as well as social and environmental groups. In order to be able to compare criteria of a different nature, the authors implemented a multi-criteria method as a solution, derived from operational research. The mathematical tool best suited to the characteristics of the issue of selecting the opening cut location is a method from the ELECTRE family, which was used to create the final solution ranking. The main achievement of the method presented is the specification of a complementary group of assessment criteria and the application of a method allowing a solution to be created, which results in the selection of the most favourable decision variant. The developed method supports decision-makers responsible for making investment decisions in the implementation of mining projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Article
The Impact of Coal’s Petrographic Composition on Its Suitability for the Gasification Process: The Example of Polish Deposits
Resources 2020, 9(9), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources9090111 - 09 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1011
Abstract
In this paper, we discuss the impact of the rank of coal, petrographic composition, and physico-chemical coal properties on the release and composition of syngas during coal gasification in a CO2 atmosphere. This study used humic coals (parabituminous to anthracite) and lithotypes [...] Read more.
In this paper, we discuss the impact of the rank of coal, petrographic composition, and physico-chemical coal properties on the release and composition of syngas during coal gasification in a CO2 atmosphere. This study used humic coals (parabituminous to anthracite) and lithotypes (bright coal and dull coal). Gasification was performed at temperatures between 600 and 1100 °C. It was found that the gas release depends on the temperature and rank of coal, and the reactivity increases with the increasing rank of coal. It was shown that the coal lithotype does not affect the gas composition or the process. Until 900 °C, the most intense processes were observed for higher rank coals. Above 1000 °C, the most reactive coals had a vitrinite reflectance of 0.5–0.6%. It was confirmed that the gasification of low-rank coal should be performed at temperatures above 1000 °C, and the reactivity of coal depends on the petrographic composition and physico-chemical features. It was shown that inertinite has a negative impact on the H2 content; at 950 °C, the increase in H2 depends on the rank of coal and vitrinite content. The physicochemical properties of coal rely on the content of maceral groups and the rank of coal. An improved understanding these relationships will allow the optimal selection of coal for gasification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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Erratum
Erratum: Lewicka et al. Sources and Markets of Limestone Flour in Poland. Resources 2020, 9, 118
Resources 2021, 10(11), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10110112 - 03 Nov 2021
Viewed by 158
Abstract
The authors wish to make a change to the published paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Resource Management: Assessment, Mining and Processing)
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