The closing ceremony of this prestigious seminar was held on Thursday in Mine Faculty of Shahroud University of Technology.
Strategies for overcoming problems facing mining sector, acceleration of convergence and synergy with regard to removing problems facing coal industry, paving suitable way for boosting scientific and research cooperation, strengthening relationship between university and industry and also taking advantage of fruitful and useful experiences of domestic and foreign companies have been cited as the main objectives of this seminar.
Of total 172 research and scientific articles submitted to the Secretariat of the Seminar, 107 articles were approved. In this two-day seminar, 20 articles were read orally while 87 of which were put on display in the form of posters.
It should be noted that the two-day seminar was held in two scientific sections including lecturers, panel discussion on clarifying strategies in line with solving problems facing mining and coal sector as well as presentation of articles, scientific productions and visiting the exhibition in the presence of chief executives of large coal manufacturing companies, Esfahan Steel Company (ESC), Tabas, Kerman, Mazandaran and Tehran steel companies.
Official in charge of Secretariat and Secretary of Executive Committee of the Seminar, Amir Saffari, was the first speaker who noted “of total 172 articles submitted to the Secretariat, 107 of which were confirmed and approved by the jury board members. The submitted articles were developed in the field of geology and exploration, extraction, mechanics of rock, ventilation, technical and engineering services, HSE (Health, Safety and Environment), processing and subject related to the latest achievements in the field of mining and coal industry of the country.”
He pointed to one of the main programs held on the sidelines of this seminar; “Specialized Mining Exhibition and Related Industries”was organized on the sidelines of this seminar with the aim of introducing new products and services, exchanging view with new customers and meeting their demands and also raising their awareness on the activities and performance of the company.”
Holding a specialized panel discussion entitled “Crisis Facing Coal Mines and Strategies for Moving Industry out of Recession” was another program of the seminar which was held in the presence of managers and activists of coal, he said, adding “organizing this program led to the presentation of very useful strategies to solve problems both producers and consumers of the mineral product in the country are facing .”
Conclusion of Cooperation Agreement between Iran, Australia and Ukraine
Elsewhere in his remarks, Saffari pointed to other measures taken on the sidelines of the seminar, adding, “a number of specialized training and tutorial workshops were organized in the presence of domestic and foreign instructors, which led to the presentation of latest approaches and scientific updates in related field.”
In addition, the seminar concluded two cooperation agreements between Shahroud University of Technology, Australia’s University of Wollongong and Ukraine’s University of Donetsk, focusing on exchanging Ph.D. students based on exchanging information and fulfilling joint research and scientific activities.
The 3rd Iran National Coal Research and Scientific Seminar was held with the aim of studying status of coal imong Iran’s top industries, getting familiar with the world’s latest achievements in coal mining sector, developing and expanding relationship between industries and academic centers, scientific and research centers according to the requirements of industrial units, presenting strategies for improving and promoting current situation of this industry, he concluded.
“Coal” Is Obsolete in Academic Courses / Calling for Launching “Coal” Course at University
Former Managing Director of Esfahan Steel Company and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Iran Northeast Industrial and Mineral Company Ardashir Sa’d- Mohammadi was the next speaker; “lack of training specialized and expert manpower is the main problem facing the industry. Unfortunately, this concept has been fallen into oblivion at universities and academic centers of the country.”
He placed special emphasis on training expert and most experienced manpower in coal mining sector, "otherwise, the coal industry of the country will lag behind international standards."
Nowadays, “Coal” has been removed from academic training chart and this issue has created drastic problem for this industry, he said, adding: “If students, who study “Mine Extraction” at universities, failed to pass relevant courses in “Coal”, they will not attain considerable success in future.”
In the end, he urged responsible officials to take effective steps in this field and revitalize “coal” courses in academic centers and universities across the country.
Directive to Hike Coal Price Is Not Finalized
Head of Coal Committee of Iranian Mine House Mohammad Mojtahedi was the next speaker in the seminar who pointed to the dire need of ESC to two million coal and said “today, one million tons is imported into the country in a way that levying 15% governmental duties on importing this product will not meet demands of coal manufacturing industries as well.”
He urged government and responsible officials to throw their heavyweight on coal miners and mining sector of the country and said: “Half of two million tons of coal needed by ESC is imported from other countries while quality of Iranian coal observes requirements of international standards and in some cases, its quality is higher than Chinese samples.”
The government has considered levying 15% duties for importing coal in order to support domestic producers but is should be acknowledged that this issue has created a financial burden on the shoulders of steel production plants, he said, and urged governmental officials to take urgent measures in this respect.
It is a matter of regret to say that coal mining industry has not a responsible body for solving problems facing ahead, he said, adding, “a directive for increasing 14% of coal price was signed and sealed by the two ministers in the previous Iranian calendar year in 1394 (ended March 19, 2016) but unfortunately, such directive is not followed up.”
Given the above issue, the directive on increasing coal price has signed by the ministers of Cooperatives and Industry, Mine and Trade in mineral productions sector but it is not enforced, he said, adding “coal price has remained constant and stable since 1393 (ended March 19, 2015).”
Today, after passage of six months since the beginning of the current year (started March 20, 2016), the said directive on increasing price of coal has not thus far been finalized and this issue has created many problems ahead of producers, he said, adding “on the other hand, this issue has caused many problems for coal production plant in a way that some units such as Kerman Coal Mfg. Company has resorted to reduce the number of its manpower.”
Chancellor of Shahroud University of Technology Mohammad-Mehdi Fateh was the next speaker in the prestigious seminar who said “distinguished experts around the world in mining and coal sector have come together in this seminar in order to exchange their views and domestic producers of this industry can take advantage of their technical know-how and knowledge. In general, this seminar has created a golden opportunity for coal experts and producers to take maximum advantage of knowledge of personalities in this respect.”
Islamic Republic of Iran enjoys high potential and capability in coal and mining sector, he said, adding “it is for many years that economic crisis has affected mining sector critically and relying upon rich oil and gas reserves and operation of underground resources is not the solution to get rid of problem this industry is facing.”
“I am of the opinion that government should focus on paying due attention to its human resources and efficient manpower in order to materialize most of its economic objectives,” he maintained.
He pointed to the high capability and potential of faculty members of the university in mining sector and said “benefitted from 26 experienced faculty members, 111 academic courses in Master’s Degree of Mining, and four Ph.D. level courses, Shahroud University of Technology is a scientific forerunner in the country.”
This academic center owns two scientific and research magazines, he said, adding “with its 148 academic courses in technical and engineering fields and also 40 courses in Ph.D. level, Shahroud University of Technology plays an important role in promoting technical know-how and knowledge in the country.”
UK Mining University Lecturer and Representative of Data Mining Philip Torres was the other speaker in this seminar who pointed to the high potential and capability of the Islamic Republic of Iran in mining sector and said “Islamic Republic of Iran has high potentials in mining sector and organizing this seminar in the field of coal can help identify these capabilities in international level.”
He also pointed to the way of organizing the seminar in Shahroud and said “removal of challenges coal and mining industry of Iran is facing can help remove problems of the industry as well.”
Fortunately, Iran enjoys unlimited mineral reserves and also benefits from the most experienced and expert engineers in related field, he said, adding “Iran should try to overhaul its infrastructures in mining sector and it is hoped that organizing such seminars will help settle problems of the industry.”
For his part, Professor at Ukraine’s University of Donetsk Georgy Dotes-Ku said “my country has expressed its readiness to help Iran boost its mining technology.”
Ukraine’s Donbas area has high potential in the field of coal, he said, adding “we are ready to cooperate with Iran in the field of transferring world’s most modern and advanced technology.”
Exhibitions, several scientific and research articles and outstanding lecturers show that Iran's mineral activists have equipped with high technical know-how and knowledge in this sector, he said, adding, “Iran and Ukraine have a mutual understanding of mineral capabilities and capacities of each other in a way that mineral activists of the two countries are well aware of this issue that economy without mines and mining is meaningless.”
Head of IT Park of Semnan province Esmaeil Jalali was the next speaker in this seminar who pointed to the concept of lack of modern technologies in the industry and said “lack of sufficient capital for equipping explorations along with shortage of equipment and machinery with high technology for processing data are of salient problems in mining and mineral sector of the country.”
Lack of access to modeling and analyzing software packages, lack of using advanced and most modern machinery in drilling and extracting coal, using improper systems to repair and maintain mines, lack of using safety equipment observing requirements of international standards and also using traditional gravitational and floatation methods in the field of coal have been cited as the other problems of the industry, he maintained.
Turning to the strategies to solve the problems in mining sector of the country, he said “planning for using coal in producing clean energies along with other subjects such as correcting and positioning mines, setting up cooperatives companies, reducing governmental monopoly and delegating the authority of mineral sector to private and specialized units have been cited as the other strategies which can help remove the indusrty's problems.”
In the end, Jalali pointed to the problems related to nature and genesis of coal deposits in Iran and said “thin coal layers, inconsistency of layers, inclination of coal layers as a result of drilling and increase of mine depth, locating in areas with forest cover and consequently environment, getting contact with underground waters in middle and upper depths and insufficiency of coal reserves for development of very large mine are of the problems related to the nature and genesis of coal deposits in the country."
The seminar wrapped up its work after three days of exchanging views on the strategies to solve problems of coal industry of the country.
It should be noted that Dr. Mohammad Ataei, Scientific Secretary of the Seminar and Dr. Farhang Sereshki, Executive Secretary of the Seminar, delivered lecturers separately.