Technical Resources

Coal company gets award for reclamation

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) – The San Juan Coal Company has received a national award from the federal government for a reclamation project at its La Plata Mine in northwestern New Mexico.
The company received the award for exemplary coal mine reclamation because it used the best technology currently available to control erosion and sedimentation and to improve wildlife habitat and other environmental resources.

The state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department nominated the reclamation work at La Plata Mine. Their nomination was one of four mines nationwide to receive the honor.

Since 1986, the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining has presented awards to coal mine operators who have completed exemplary reclamation. A similar program for abandoned mine land reclamation began in 1992.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Carlson Natural Regrade to be taught at Spanish University

Natural Regrade’s innovative GeoFluv™ fluvial geomorphic landform design method will be taught in two courses: “Design and Construction of Topography in Ecological Restoration” and “Environmental Impact Assessment and Remediation.” Both will be led by Jose Francisco Martin Duque, who has done pioneering work in geomorphic landform design in Spain.

While used extensively by mining companies, Carlson Natural Regrade gives all faced with disturbed lands an affordable and natural way to achieve sustainability. The software features the GeoFluv approach to stable landform design, using fluvial geomorphic principles – essentially designing the land to be as it would have naturally formed on that site over thousands of years. With Carlson Natural Regrade, the natural beauty of the reclaimed land is returned, while stability against erosion is established and the water quality remains comparable or better than surrounding undisturbed lands.

Both Martin Duque and his colleague in Ecological Restoration, José Manuel Nicolau Ibarra, who is at the University of Zaragoza (Campus de Huesca), see many applications beyond mined land reclamation for Natural Regrade, including wetlands restoration and sediment control from highway projects.

“We have been asked to find alternative methods to minimize erosion and sedimentation from highway road cuts,” says Martin Duque, “and the design speed offered by the Natural Regrade software will help us find stable, economical alternatives that are in harmony with natural processes; this is the key to sustainability in ecological restoration.”

The universities have students engaged in sedimentation studies on disturbed lands to document the effectiveness of fluvial geomorphic designs as compared with traditional designs that are characterized by constant-gradient slopes, terraces and down-drains. Martin Duque and Nicolau Ibarra intend to use these kinds of studies to verify the effectiveness of the GeoFluv method as used in Natural Regrade.

Martin Duque has shown that slope profiles that are made according to fluvial geomorphic principles, mimicking natural slopes, provide a low-cost means to stabilize steep disturbed slopes against erosive forces. His work has recognized the need to combine the upland slopes with an integrated drainage network.

“This integrated upland and drainage network is exactly what the GeoFluv method provides and the Natural Regrade design software greatly simplifies the making of these complex designs,” says Martin Duque. There are annually more than 800 students from Europe and South America applying for the 35 seats in the Ecological Restoration Master class. Those enrolled in January 2010 will be the first to learn to use the GeoFluv method with Natural Regrade.

Nicholas Bugosh, developer of the GeoFluv method and GeoFluv Technical Director for Carlson Software, recently gave a lecture at the University Complutense entitled, “The Landform is the Foundation of Ecological Restoration, (How the new GeoFluv landform design method promotes sustainability).”

Students and interested university lecturers and industrial developers attended the event, which was sponsored by the Ecological Restoration postgraduate program and the Faculty of Geology of the Complutense University.

For more information about Carlson Natural Regrade and GeoFluv, a new technology for stable landform design, contact Bugosh directly at or 970.631.4190.

About Carlson Software.

Founded in 1983, Carlson Software develops technically advanced software solutions to bring land development professionals from concept to completion. The independent, privately owned company produces comprehensive civil, surveying, machine control and positioning, mining, and law enforcement investigative software solutions. Its free technical support and dedication to customer service is unique in the industry. Carlson Software is headquartered in Maysville, Ky., with branch offices in Boston and Queensland, Australia.

ACARP Project on Sustainable Landscape Design for Coal Mine Rehabilitation

In 2009/2010 Landforma was involved in an Australian Coal Industry Research Program (ACARP) C18024 investigating “Sustainable Landscape Design for Coal Mine Rehabilitation”.

This project compared waste dump landform design outputs using (a) existing landform guidelines; (b) the Water Erosion Prediction Program (WEPP) runoff and erosion model; and (c) dedicated landform design software (Geofluv). The three landform design approaches were applied at two mine sites in the NSW Hunter coalfield, for landforms sheeted with local topsoil. Landforms developed using the three design methods were then assessed for erosion risk using the SIBERIA landform evolution model, with the impacts of varying vegetation cover for each landform design also being evaluated to assess the importance of cover in ensuring the stability of the designed waste dumps.

This report was published in May 2010 and is available from the ACARP web site


Intermat Innovation Awards announced

Mecalac Ahlmann’s Hybrid 12MTX won both the machinery gold award and the special environment prize. Intermat has announced the winners of its innovation awards. There were eight awards in all spread over three categories including a Special Environment Prize.

In the machinery category the gold award went to Mecalac Ahlmann for its Hybrid 12MTX. The Bronze Award (there wasn’t a silver award) went to Fayat for its Beluga hot-mix production plant.

In the Equipment and Components category one of two silver awards (no gold award in this category) went to Made for its Sky Radio 2.0 system which can be fitted to concrete pumps and other high-reach equipment to detect high-voltage power lines. A second silver award went to Flexxaire Manufacturing for its variable-pitch cooling fan. The Bronze award went to Poclain Hydraulics for its motorized hydraulic steerable drive.

In the Services category the silver award (no gold here either) went to Carlson Software for its natural regrade computer software and another silver award went to Keestrack for its Full GPRS transfer controller system.

The Special Environment Prize went to the machinery category winner, Mecalac Ahlmann for its Hybrid 12MTX (pictured). But potential buyers of the hybrid will have to wait quite a while before they can get hold of a machine.

The machine on show at Intermat will only be a concept version. A pre-series machine is likely to be produced later this year, but it will probably be two years from now before models go into production. According to Mecalac, the 9 tonne 12MTX Hybrid has the same performance as the standard 74 kW 12MTX, but it only has a 51 kW diesel motor.

This is due to a 15/30 kW electrical motor-generator being included in place of the pump coupling flange. The main features of the unit, said Mecalac, are its reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and lower noise emissions.