The parties that compose mining plans, development plans and estimations of environmental effects (TUTDepartment of Mining, mining engineering offices,geological institutions) have acquired planning andmodelling software for various purposes, whichcauses some problems:1.The geological database, the first parts of whichdate back from over 50 years, requires skilfultreatment: data exist in several geodeticcoordinate systems and includes partly obsoletestratigraphic terminology. Unfitting coordinatesystems disturb the usage of cross-use of spatialdata in various state geoinformation databases(digital maps, border files, land registers, buildingregisters, databases of technological networks of enterprises, etc.). This creates further problemsrelated to mined areas.2.The main proportion of environmentalrestrictions, which have to be taken into accountin mining and building, are speculative and not based on real measurements. Usually therestrictions are two-dimensional and do not takeinto account the structures of the geologicalenvironment. Such vagueness does not support precise engineering calculations or modelling.3.Ground modelling systems that are designed indeveloped mining countries are principally meantfor deep deposits. However, in Estonia there are blanket deposits, which cause wider environmental effect of mining. Because of thatreason, imported systems have to be adapted.Modelling and planning software adapted for Estonian blanket deposits can be recommendedfor use in other analogical mining conditionselsewhere, e.g. in Ukraine or Jordan.
Mining is possible in any circumstances, provided that sustainable mining environmenthas been created. In other words, with the proper choice of mining technology, the effectof mining has been damped below the level thatthe nature and man can tolerate.
The methodology and criteria for planning,designing, modelling and accepting of sustainable mining environment will provide the base for mineral raw material that the economyrequires, both in near and far future.
The conditions for optimal mining can beapplied for all Estonian resources, including sofar not utilized sites of granite, graptoliteargillite (raw material for uranium) and phosphorite. They can also be applied inanalogical mining conditions (blanket deposits)outside Estonia, particularly in the case of oilshale (Russia, Ukraine) but also for coal, browncoal, salts, etc.
The actual (measurable) effect of mining is upto a magnitude level smaller than is claimed.Because of this fact, the real (based onmeasurements) environmental restrictionsshould be less strict in the respective amount.
In hydrogeological circumstances of plentifulwater, such as the Toolse-Lääne study are of themining region of Rakvere-Kunda, it is possibleto find a usage for the water that is pumped out.
There are several mining software programs. They areeither freeware (different viewers), independent(GEMCOM Surpac and Minex, MapInfo, AutoCAD,ESRI, etc.) or additional (Discover, Map X, etc.) programs. Besides, it is possible to use online software programs (EduMine etc.). There are problems with thecompatibility of the projects, because there are somany different software programs, and institutions usedifferent software systems. Development of co-operation brings about difficulties in connection andtransition of data. A problem like this poses aneconomical problem – the designers have to have asmuch different software as possible for thecooperationto work [Application of Modelling Toolsin Estonian Oil Shale Mining Area.Oil Shale].With the modelling, including digital planning, theaim is to gain and create the following:1.Producing needed mining indicators for decision-making2.Future scenarios of mining oil shale and buildingmaterial, support for state and regionaldevelopment planning, technological solutionsthat take into account all possible environmentaleffects and social reactions3.New output: project solutions, theme maps,inquiries, zoning, evaluations of crises or risks4.Optimal methodology for gaining, storing andusing information, having in mine requirementsfor various purposes and levels5.More effective usage of geological, technologicaland spatial information, added functionality of thedatabase
4.1.Optimal mining software package for oilshale
The staff of the laboratory of mining design and planning applies mining software systems, tests anddevelops them in both research and teaching processes. The laboratory possesses software,databases, methods, hardware with necessaryequipment (scanners, printers, plotters, savers, presenters, servers) all listed in Websitehttp://mi.ttu.ee/mgislabor [Karu et al. 2008].The following software used worldwide to modelmining operations has been set up in the laboratory: