Salamanca, JM, Rodriguez-Diaz, OO, Fernández, AA, Niño-Merchan, JJ & Rojas, B 2017, 'Modernisation of the underground coal mining sector in Colombia – a proposal from the academy', in M Hudyma & Y Potvin (eds), Proceedings of the First International Conference on Underground Mining Technology
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 523-531, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1710_42_Salamanca
Mining has provided major developments and resources to countries that produce raw materials, but in developing countries, such as Colombia, there is little technology and research in the area of mining processes. This has serious consequences on aspects such as worker safety, environmental impact and mining production. Thus, in Colombia, for underground coal mining, statistics on deaths, accidents and damage to the environment are high.
This paper presents the proposal of a research project between the Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia (UPTC) and the Centro Nacional de Minería del Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA) that seeks to reduce the technological and research gap of the sector in underground coal mining in Colombia.
The proposed project highlights the importance of developing scientific research processes and the application of industrial automation processes in small and medium-sized coal mines, taking into account the needs of safety, environmental impact and operating conditions. The proposal is based on two stages.
The first stage is the appropriation of technology in the coal mining sector in Colombia, and the second stage presents the methodology for the development of the objectives, seeking to solve the identified problem.
As a consequence of the analysis, the following three fundamental problems were detected: a low level of safety and productivity research for underground coal mining in Colombia, low transfer of technology in the mining sector, and low appropriation of knowledge on issues related to the application of new technologies in underground coal mining. The proposed methodology is based on addressing the three identified problems, generating objectives for each of them as follows: undertake research on safety, productivity and environmental impact on underground coal mining in Colombia; increase technological transfer in the mining sector; and increase social appropriation of knowledge on issues related to the application of new technologies in underground coal mining.
For generating research, the research groups associated with UPTC and SENA will develop projects linked to MS, MSc and PhD programs that address associated problems in areas such as ventilation, ground support and environmental impact. For the appropriation of knowledge, socialisation and training activities are offered to companies and workers at all levels of the sector.
The proposed activities will be developed in the UPTC and SENA laboratories, and will be validated in the only didactic mine in Latin America for underground coal mining works; a mine belonging to SENA and located in the department of Boyacá, Colombia.
Keywords: security in mining, ventilation, coal, automatic control
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