Gornye nauki i tekhnologii = Mining Science and Technology (Russia)

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Vol 8, No 2 (2023)
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115–127 193

The territory of the present-day People’s Republic of China is rich in mineral and energy resources which stimulate the growth of the extractive industry in the country. China is currently the world leader in the production of 31 commodities (mineral products): molybdenum, tungsten, iron, aluminum, lead, zinc, gold, coal, gypsum, bentonite, and many others. This stimulates the development of the appropriate infrastructure and training of specialists in the mining industry, the development of international links for investment and the exchange of best production practices. The purpose of this work was to study the history of exploration and extraction of natural resources, establish a domestic strategy for the development of the mining and metallurgical sector, and review leading Chinese mining and metallurgical companies. The paper reviewed key domestic processes in China which would affect the domestic and global mining and metallurgical industry. An assessment of natural resource deposits throughout the whole territory of the country was carried out with their brief description, highlighting the prime prospects, and presenting commodity reserves. The paper presents the main challenges for the mining and metallurgical industry to be met in the 14th Five-Year Plan. The development of the industry up to 2025 implies the expansion of extractive capacities with an overall reduction in dependence on imports, enhancing exploration programs, and the reduction of harmful emissions from operating enterprises, etc. Special attention is paid to publicly traded mining and metallurgical companies in China. The leaders in each sector are presented, and their brief economic indicators are given.

128–140 160

The relevance of the research is connected with Russia’s long-term import dependence on zirconium raw materials.

Goal of this research: to study the dynamics of commodity flows (production, import, export, consumption) of Russian zirconium raw materials; its prices (world and Russian); the raw material base of zirconium in Russia and the prospects for national production of its extraction and processing.

Methods: statistical, graphic, logical.

Results: Russia imports the vast majority (3.5–14.9 kt/year or 98–100 % of consumption) of consumed zircon concentrate. At the same time, almost all of the baddeleyite mined in Russia (4.0–9.3 kt/year or (96–100 % of production) is exported. Since 2018 has there been a decrease in its export supplies and an increase in the national consumption (up to 60 % of production).

Russia has existing deposits, including a useful zirconium component, but all are connected with a certain economic and technological complexity in their development.

In 2022, the national production of selective zircon concentrate began during the development of the Tugan titanium-zirconium deposit. This deposit covers up to 30 % of Russia’s demand for zirconium raw materials up to 2023. Furthermore, the construction of the 2-nd stage of the Tugan mining and processing plant will increase its supply to 15 kt/year. This will completely cover Russian demand for zirconium raw materials. Work is in progress on Zashikhinsky field preparation, where, in the course of enrichment of tantalum-rare-earth ores, up to 8 kt/year of zircon concentrate will be additionally extracted. The emerging trend of reducing Russia’s import dependence on zirconium raw materials, and in the future its complete elimination will allow consumption of zircon and zirconium oxides to be increased in the most demanding area of their use – for dampening the glaze of ceramic tiles. The presence of an independent and sufficient national mining base of zirconium raw materials will allow Russian production of metal zirconium, zirconium refractory and abrasive products, solid fuel energy cells and other zirconiumcontaining applications to be developed.


141–149 142

At the present stage, most oil and gas condensate fields in the southern part of the East Siberian oil and gas province are characterized by an increasing proportion of difficult oil reserves in tight reservoirs. Multistage hydraulic fracturing (MHF) is proposed for the offshore Challenger Sea field (Southeast Dome). The implementation of this technique at a shelf will be a source of additional risks. For example, the properties of the RR-2 overlying seal have not been unambiguously assessed, and there are a number of geological uncertainties, such as the tectonic regime. However, there are a number of arguments in favor of MHF: heterogeneity of the reservoir; low permeability; low water cut of the field; sufficient thickness of the pay zone; and the overlying seal. One more positive factor is that sand ingress is not observed in the process of oil production. The selection of a principal well completion scheme on the eastern side of the RR-7 formation is aimed at effectively recovering the remaining reserves. The objectives of the study performed are: to create a geological and hydrodynamic model of the Challenger Sea (Southeast Dome); develop 1D and 3D geomechanical models; evaluate oil production forecasts based on fundamentally different well completion schemes; and determine the optimum parameters for multistage hydraulic fracturing. The research methods included: petrophysical methods; logging methods; core studies; drilling reports and formation testing data; and 3D, 4D geomechanical simulation. Other geophysical methods included acoustic logging, density logging, and gamma-ray logging. After building a geomechanical model of the reservoir at the beginning of drilling, a hydrodynamic calculation was performed. This established the reservoir pressures and saturations at certain points in time. The results made it possible for the principal stress directions, the values of effective and principal stresses, and the values of elastic strains to be determined. In order to assess MGF process efficiency, production forecasts were made using a hydrodynamic model for an exploration well with conventional completion (perforated liner) and with five-stage MGF. In the first case, the accumulated production was 144 kt over 15 years, and in the second case, 125 kt over 17 years. The difference in cumulative production is due to different initial well flow rates, as well as the rate of oil withdrawal during the first few years of development. Thereafter, the production and daily flow rate curves showed similar behavior. In order to select the most effective option, an economic analysis of the efficiency was performed.


150–161 131

Digital simulation of mine fires and explosions is an important stage in the process of developing technical solutions and measures aimed at improving the safety of personnel involved in underground mining. Correct simulation results determine the effectiveness of decisions in the event of an actual emergency situation. In this regard, due attention should be paid to each stage of the simulation, and especially to the initial stage of model parameterization. This study formulates a general principle for determining the parameters of mine fire and explosion models, in order to assess their development using the AeroNetwork analytical package. Such parameters in the event of a fire are heat and gas (afterdamp) releases. In the event of an explosion, excessive pressure at the shock front in the explosion origin. It has been established that when simulating a fire, it is advisable to use equivalent heat and gas releases determined by the content of combustible components in the combustion origin. In the event of burning mining equipment, these parameters can be calculated on the basis of the technical characteristics of a machine. Furthermore, when simulating an unauthorized explosion of explosives, the excess pressure determined by the dimensionless length of the active combustion area is calculated taking into account the weight and specific heat of an explosive, as well as the geometric parameters of a mine working. When simulating an explosion of a methane-air mixture (firedamp), the excess pressure is calculated taking into account the gas content of rocks in terms of free combustible gases, the length of a blast cut, the size of the area of increased fracturing, and the lower explosive limit of methane. Based on the proposed principle of the parameterization of emergency models, as an example, a model of fire and explosion development in existing extended dead-end workings (more than 1000 m long) passing coaxially to each other at different heights was developed. The numerical simulation of different emergency situations in workings was carried out, taking into account performing mining in difficult mining conditions. 


162–172 94

Evidence demonstrates that as the production capacity of a kimberlite mine increases, there is a corresponding increase in the volumetric concentration of suspended solids in the mine water extracted from its watercollecting workings. The Udachny mine, known for its high productivity in comparison to other domestic kimberlite mines, experiences a higher concentration of suspended solids in the mine waters, leading to significant sludge settling within the primary drainage facility’s water-collecting workings. This determinal effect adversely affects the operational efficiency of pumping equipment and the reliability of LHDs. To address these issues, an enhanced version of the conventional main drainage facility scheme, specifically designed for kimberlite mine utilizing the block caving method, is proposed. This modified scheme aims to provide improved clarification of the mine water in the water-collecting workings and facilitate more efficient dewatering of the settled slurry sludges. Furthermore, a methodology has been developed to determine the time required for slurry sludge removal, the sedimentation characteristics of the solid phase, and the rheological properties of the liquid phase of the mine water. 


173–182 133

Illegal mining, including the violation of lease boundaries during the extraction of mineral deposits in Vietnam, has witnessed a significant surge in recent years, leading to substantial environmental degradation. Due to the remote locations of mining areas in relation to settlements, the detection of illegal mining activities using conventional methods poses considerable challenges. This study presents a methodology for identifying lease boundary violations in open-pit mining of mineral deposits by utilizing high-resolution satellite images from the Sentinel-2 MSI system. The proposed methodology involves overlaying Sentinel-2 MSI radar-acquired satellite images to identify disparities between approved lease boundaries and actual boundaries of mining areas. The research focuses on the mineral-rich provinces of Lao Cai and Yen Bai in North Vietnam. The findings of this research rhold great potential for effectively monitoring and promptly detecting violations of mining lease boundaries.


183–190 119

The development of the human resources potential of the mining and geological industry in Russia is largely a task of the state and its institutions. The shortage of qualified personnel in the field of geological study of the subsurface, as well as the gap in the “education – science – production” system are indicated among other things in the list of challenges and threats to the development of the mineral resource base of the Russian Federation in the new Strategy of Development of the Mineral Resource Base of the Russian Federation until 2035. This strategy was developed and adopted by Order of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 2914 of 22.12.2018 (hereinafter – Strategy). Obviously, the solution of the tasks aimed at developing the geological industry of Russia and reproduction of the mineral resource base, formulated in the Strategy, will be provided mainly by the geological knowledge and skills formed in the scientific and practical activities of the new generation of geologists. The current modernization of geological education in the absence of professional standards is aimed at combining the competences of university graduates and qualifications of representatives of the profession of geologists, geophysicists, geochemists, hydrogeologists and geological prospectors. Interaction of universities with mining and geological companies in terms of improving educational standards and training programs is especially important in the conditions of the development and large-scale implementation of new technologies for mineral resources study at all stages of the geological exploration process. Reproduction of the personnel potential of the exploration industry should certainly be under the close attention of the state and under its direct management, as it will largely determine the mineral resources sovereignty of the country.

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