In the technology development segment, since the end of World War II, the Velenje Coal Mine has paid a great deal of attention to modernisation and introduction of the latest coal production technologies to reduce physical effort and maximise safety for miners. An important milestone in this area was achieved in 1987 with our final transition from classical excavation method to fully mechanised excavation mining method. An important contribution to this development was made through our expertise, along with a systematic search for the most appropriate and safest method for the excavation of thick coal seams. We began introducing the long-wall excavation method in 1952. Today it is known in the expert literature as the Velenje mining method and has won fame for the Velenje Coal Mine as one of the most modern underground mines in the world.
Based on the tradition, experience and knowledge, the Technicaldepartment of the Velenje Coal Mine continue their mission - planning and further development of excavation in the sense of continuous increase of economic efficiency of production, increase of safety and humanity of work as well as reduction of environmental impacts.
We are an independent department divided into twosubdepartnemnts: Design Services and Hydrogeology.
More than 50 experts are employed in the Technical Services department, among them more than two thirds are mining, mechanical, electrical and geological engineers. The activities are organised in terms of projects and divided into three segments: one third of working tasks are activities related to the regular coal production process, one third is performed by the department employees functioning as heads or members of development or project teams and one third is carried out for external market clients.
We prepare all necessary design bases and design documentation for the regular coal production process and carry out the engineering supervision for the preparation and annual production of approximately 4 million tons of coal.
For the research and development programme of the Velenje Coal Mine, we act as members or heads of teams, some of us participating in two or even three teams. Besides performing the tasks required for daily coal production, it is very important that we are oriented toward forward development and that we are able to offer our extensive expertise and experience in the market as well. The advantage of our Technical Services is in our ability to supply the complete service including design, engineering and implementation of the facilities.