RaVeN Open Day 2024!

Join us on April 25, from 14:30 to 16:00 (GMT+2), for an engaging online Open Day event where you can explore the RaVeN master’s program. This event offers the opportunity to interact with faculty members, current students, and program representatives to gain insights into the curriculum, research prospects, and available resources.

You’ll also have the chance to ask questions and get a sense of the program’s atmosphere and community!

Field activities in Guido Coal Mine

Students, as part of the Social aspects of sustainable development course, took part in field activities to the Guido coal mine in Zabrze. The mine is currently open to the public and is no longer involved in coal mining.

During the visit, students learnt about methods of revitalizing post-mining sites and the history of coal mining in Poland. They had the opportunity to observe how the revitalization process should be properly and effectively carried out in a recreational and social manner, and what standards it should meet.

In addition, they learned about the impact of coal mining on the local community over the years. They had the opportunity to gain knowledge of the impact of this type of activity both at the time of mining, after it has been completed and after the site has been revitalized. The comprehensive field trip was designed to make the students aware of how individual activities affect the local community.

Class date: 27.01.2024, subject “Social aspects of sustainable development”

Field activities in Waste Disposal Plant Sp. z o.o., Municipal Utilities Enterprise and Silesian Museum

As part of the New Trends in Mining Technologies course, students took part in field trips to the Waste Disposal Plant Sp. z o.o., Municipal Utilities Enterprise, and Silesian Museum.

During the trip to Waste Disposal Plant Sp. z o. o. and Municipal Utilities Enterprise, students became familiar with the waste management process and the functioning of a municipal management plant. They had the opportunity to see what the waste separation process actually looks like and into what groups they are divided. Additionally, they could observe how a given type of waste is handled and how it is processed.

During a visit to the Silesian museum, students had the opportunity to expand their knowledge about the history of mining in Poland. Particular attention should be paid to the fact that the museum was established as part of the revitalization of the areas where a mine was previously located. The Silesian museum showed the students the revitalization of areas degraded for recreational purposes.

The aim of the field trip was to show how waste is handled and how the process of disposal of a specific type of waste takes place. Politicians and security principles apply to the operation of this type of applications. During the field trip, they can observe how important it is to take care of the environment and how it deals with waste or degraded areas in the way it is distributed with frequencies and from the environment and how important it is nowadays.

Class date: 26.01.2024, subject “New trends in the mining technologies and mineral processing”.

Field activities in Machów-Piaseczno and the Osiek sulfur mines

Students, as part of the Problems on post mining area- water management, reclamation, revitalization course, took part in field activities to two decommissioned opencast sulfur mines, Machów and Piaseczno in Tarnobrzeg and the Osiek mine, which extracts sulfur using the Frasch method.

During a trip to Machów and Piaseczno in Tarnobrzeg, students learned about the history of sulphur mining in Poland in the 19th century in the areas where these mines operated. They also had the opportunity to observe one way of revitalizing post-mining areas using water.

During a visit to the Osiek sulfur mine belonging to Grupa Azoty, students had the opportunity to learn about Frasch, one of the sulfur extraction methods. It is the only mine in the world that extracts sulfur using this method. During their stay at the plant, students had the opportunity to learn about the company’s business model and security policy.

The field trip allowed students to observe the entire sulfur mining cycle and the activities that should be performed after their completion. In addition, they could learn about innovative technologies used in the extraction of raw materials and see how it works. During the trip, they also expanded their knowledge about the management and operation of mining plants and the importance of safety at work. The field trip also showed the fact that mining is still developing and new, innovative solutions for the extraction of raw materials should be sought.

Class date: 25.01.2024, subject “Problems on post mining area – water management, reclamation, revitalization”

Field trip: Saint-Gobain Construction Products Polska sp. z o.o. ‘Borkow’ gypsum quarry & RIGIPS Stawiany construction materials plant

Students, as part of the New Trends in Mining Technologies course, took part in field activities to the Borków quarry, which operate on gypsum deposits, and the construction materials production plant (gypsum boards, gypsum blocks) owned by the French company Saint-Gobain Construction Products Polska sp. z o.o.

During the trip, students were acquainted with modern methods of mining gypsum deposits in complicated condition (environmental and social limitations). They had the opportunity to observe the blasting method of gypsum extraction and familiarize themselves with the design and technical details of the process.

During the visit to the production facility, students witnessed how the extracted raw material is processed into the final product in RIGIPS Stawiany factory. Special attention was given to the efficiency of the process, self-resource management (e.g., process water from the quarry drainage system), and the applied recycling processes. Plant management and employees presented various Circular Economy solutions implemented at various stages of the production process.

Additionally, safety and organization of work at the production plant with a conveyor-type production characteristic were presented, from raw material acquisition to the organization and optimization of logistics for delivering finished products to external recipients. The comprehensive field trip aimed to make students aware that the quality and efficiency of construction material production begin with careful design of the extraction process. Ensuring the quality and purity of the raw material at the extraction process is crucial for achieving the desired final product.

Class date: 18.01.2024, subject “ New trends in the mining technologies and mineral processing”

Field trip: site of mining and industrial machinery manufacturer SANDVIK-TYCHY

The students, as part of the course Modern and innovative machines and mining methods used in raw materials excavation, took part in a field activity to the plant of mining and industrial machinery manufacturer SANDVIK-TYCHY, which was founded in Sweden in 1862 and has been operating on the Polish market for 25 years.

During the trip, students had the opportunity to see the process of making mining machinery and its components. They saw what components for this type of machinery look like in real life, the steps performed during production and the assembly itself. The students also had the opportunity to enter selected machines and observe them up close.

In addition, the safety and organization of work in a production plant involved in the creation of large mining components is presented. The excursion was intended to complement the theoretical knowledge they gained in the course “Modern and innovative machines and mining methods used in raw materials excavation” with practical knowledge. The students had the opportunity to see in reality how these types of elements are produced and how unsafe they can be during production.  

Class date: 11th January, 2024: subject “Modern and innovative machines and mining methods used in raw materials excavation”

Staff training on Integral Leadership Development Program

On 20-21 December 2023, a training course for educators was held at the AGH University of Science and Technology (AGH) on the ‘Integral Leadership Development Program’, conducted by Two-wings company. The training covered 14 hours and it was attended by 11 research staff members who teach RaVeN students, and 2 administrative staff members who support RaVeN students with administrative, document handling issues.

The objectives of the meeting were fully achieved. The course improved staff cooperation within the RaVeN project by learning about soft skills in leadership and management. The involvement of the course participants made it possible to clarify communication tools in the team and the division of tasks. Techniques for enforcing these tasks were also learned. Training participants learned the benefits of teamwork. The result will be effective communication and effective teamwork identifying with team goals using team problem-solving techniques, which will certainly result in the high-quality education provided to the students of the RaVeN programme. This determines achieving sustainability by ensuring that other project stakeholders, i.e. employees, also derive benefits as they improve their professional competences.

Field trip: New trends in the mining technologies and mineral processing

On the Friday trip, we visited three different places: the tailings processing plant of ZGH Bolesław, including the tailings landfill, and the geological museum of ZGH Bolesław – Mine Knowledge and Mining Museum (located underground in the Market Square in Olkusz). We began the day with a visit to the tailings processing plant in ZGH Bolesław. This plant commenced operations in 2017. During our tour, we observed the tailing process in the industrial hall, explored the ‘command center’ of the plant equipped with online monitoring of parameters in specific tanks, the tailing pond, and the conveyor belt transporting waste to the plant.

The flotation process, which we observed at the plant, involves extracting zinc and lead from material classified as waste during zinc and lead mining operations at the mine. Throughout the process, waste from the heap is introduced into flotation machines. These machines can handle waste with a grain diameter of up to 0.02 mm. Larger-than-set waste grains are pre-fed to the mill, reducing their size and further separating sulfur compounds from the material.

The flotation process utilizes closed-loop water, and various reagents are added to the flotation mixtures to maintain the right conditions. For example, copper sulfate (CuSO4), recognizable by its characteristic blue color, is among the reagents. Buckets containing this substance were visible near the flotation machines. The concentrate obtained in the flotation process is transferred to a filter. From there, the material is transported to the smelter to undergo metallurgical processes.

After touring the ZGH Boleslaw plant, we proceeded to the ZGH Boleslaw ‘Knowledge Mine’ Geological Museum. There, we delved into the history of zinc and lead mining and metallurgy in the Boleslaw and Olkusz areas. The zinc and lead mine ‘Pomorzany,’ once the supplier for the smelter, ceased operations in 2020 due to the depletion of deposits. Despite this, the smelter and metallurgical activities in the region persist. The Boleslaw smelter now sources zinc from a foreign mine in Montenegro, acquires zinc ore from the market, and receives concentrate from the flotation processes of waste from the now-closed Boleslaw mine. Mining in the area boasts a history of approximately 700 years, with zinc and lead ore deposits located about 100-200 meters below ground level. The distribution of these deposits was quite chaotic, resulting in complex and densely spaced underground tunnels in the mine.

At the museum, we had the opportunity to explore geological specimens of various minerals, including zinc ore, along with diagrams and films illustrating the mining and metallurgical processing of zinc ores. Additionally, we gained insights into the lives of miners outside of work, exploring aspects such as the orchestra, Barbour, and the domestic life of mining families in the area.

In front of the museum building, we observed the contemporary mining machinery used in today’s mines and various underground railroads within the transportation tunnels.

Lastly, we visited the Olkusz Museum situated in the market square and its underground section. Here, we were informed about the city’s history, which has been a mining and metallurgical powerhouse since medieval times. We also learned about the historical methods of mining and processing zinc and lead ores in the regions of present-day Olkusz and Boleslaw.

A field trip to Wieliczka Salt Mine

The field trip to Wieliczka Salt Mine was an enriching experience that combined historical, geological, and cultural aspects. Located in the town of Wieliczka, just outside of Krakow, Poland, the salt mine is one of the world’s oldest operating mines, with a history dating back to the 13th century.

Our journey began with a guided tour through the mine’s intricate network of tunnels and chambers. The guide provided a captivating historical overview, detailing the mine’s role in shaping the region’s economy and culture over the centuries. The mine, now a UNESCO World Heritage. The geological formations within the salt mine were truly mesmerizing. As we descended into the depths of the mine, the walls revealed layers of salt deposits, creating a unique and otherworldly atmosphere. One of the most remarkable aspects of the Wieliczka Salt Mine is the presence of stunning underground chapels and chambers carved entirely out of salt. The Chapel of St. Kinga, an underground church, left a lasting impression with its intricate salt sculptures and chandeliers. The tour included demonstrations of traditional salt mining techniques, providing a hands-on experience of the tools and methods used by miners throughout history. It was enlightening to understand the challenges faced by miners and the evolution of mining technology over the centuries.

The field trip to Wieliczka Salt Mine was a blend of education and awe-inspiring discovery. It provided a unique opportunity to explore the history of salt mining, witness breathtaking underground architecture, and gain insights into geological processes. The trip not only broadened our understanding of the region’s history but also left us with a profound appreciation for the ingenuity and resilience of those who worked in the mine throughout the centuries.

RaVeN Business training and general trends in the raw materials value chain

RaVeN students have just completed the first session of the “RaVeN – Business training and general trends in the raw materials value chain” at AGH University of Science and Technology, on November 20-21. The course was delivered by representatives of the partner LPRC – La Palma Research Centre.

During two demanding days, students listened to lectures and took part in seminars that provided fundamental knowledge and practical skills that young entrepreneurs must possess. They have also obtained knowledge on future trends and scenarios of the raw materials value chain, allowing them to scan and think ahead for innovative solutions.

Students worked very hard on practical exercises, drafting lean canvases, outlining business plans and giving their first pitches. Congratulations to them for their diligence and for smartly coping with all the challenges! Good wishes for the successful continuation!