Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mining The Mines-The American Way

I always loved being an economic specialist in the Foreign Service because it meant I got to visit factories, farms and other workplaces.  I‘ll never forget seeing how Colgate put the striped toothpaste in the tubes in Georgetown Guyana, or visiting the Bralima brewery in Kinshasa, DRC.  I’ve enjoyed visiting a variety of workplaces since I arrived in Hyderabad.  The process one observes visiting an IT company is not as visually arresting as a factory visit, but through visits to high tech companies I’ve learned a lot about this important growth sector in Hyderabad and about the diversity of products and services being produced in Madhapur and Gachibowli.
I had a chance to visit one of Singareni Collieries’ mines in Ramagundam this week.  A local company, Advanced Mining Technologies, has deployed U.S.-manufactured equipment in the mine to help Singareni recover coal in inaccessible areas that would otherwise remain in the ground.  I saw the Addcar Highwall Mining equipment extract coal by digging shafts into the side of a massive open pit mine.  The efficiency of the process was amazing—experts had pinpointed the location of the seam of coal to be exploited, and the machine extracted coal, with no waste generated.  From my point of view, this was a great micro-example of how U.S. technology can help reduce the environmental impact of Indian economic development: the more coal that can be extracted without increasing surface disruption or generating waste, the better.
The other great part of my visit was that I got a chance to meet four Americans sent out from Kentucky to help train operators by the company that produced the equipment.  They told me they had never traveled further from the U.S. than Canada before, but they were enjoying their time in Karimnagar District, Andhra Pradesh.  They told me the community had welcomed them and made them feel at home.  I feel exactly the same way here in Hyderabad.

1 comment:

  1. Katherine,

    I had the chance to install a slope monitoring system in that mine for AMT to make sure the mining process doesn't jeopardize the stability of the wall, and the lives of the people working there.

    The Addcar miner is indeed impressive, as is the potential to reduce environmental impacts by REALLY mining as much as they can without disrupting more the area. And I do agree on the second part mentioned here, as were the American workers (the people there still remember them) my colleague and I were really welcomed, and really enjoyed our time in India !