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Revista Minelor – Mining Revue ISSN-L 1220-2053 / ISSN 2247-8590 vol. 29, issue 1 / 2023, pp. 101-110 THE COMPLEX SYSTEM OF MINING AND ENERGY RESOURCES: PREMISES FOR CLUSTERIZATION 1* 2 3 Sorin Mihai RADU , Adrian BĂRBULESCU , Ciprian COANDREȘ , 4 5 Charles Rostand MVONGO MVODO , Ioan Petru SCUTELNICU , 6 7 8 Jamal KHAMIS , Alexandra LIHOACĂ , Alexandru A. BURIAN University of Petrosani, Romania, email@example.com University of Petrosani, Romania University of Petrosani, Romania Technical University (Engineering) Cameroun, firstname.lastname@example.org Geological Institute of Romania, Bucharest, Romania, email@example.com Ministry of Health, Damascus, Syria, firstname.lastname@example.org University of Petrosani, Romania University of Petrosani, Romania DOI: 10.2478/minrv-2023-0008 Abstract: The article shows that when dealing with many enterprises in mining areas, it is necessary to search for methods of efficiency, ways of maximizing the utility of their operation in accordance with the requirements for the consumption of useful mineral substances, primary energy resources and energy and in relation to their production potential. Clustering in the complex system of mining and energy resources is an approach that refers to geographical concentrations of interconnected companies and institutions in a certain field (mining and energy), related industries and entities for competition. Mainly, the authors deal with issues related to conceptual approaches related to clustering, anthropogenic impacts and mining/energy clustering, the delimitation of "clusters - links - infrastructure" alignments for the promotion of the mining and energy industry / economy in a collaborative regime. The conclusions are useful to the developers of strategies, tactics and programs in the field of the new industry and mining/energy economies in Romania and in other reference countries studied by the authors from the perspective of the article's theme. Keywords: clustering, complex system of mining and energy resources, comparative advantage, competitive advantage, new industry and mining economy 1. Introduction In Romania, the demand for mineral resources is expected to increase fivefold in the next 50 years, the condition of their superior exploitation being imposed, protecting the "national economic security interests". (Romania's Strategy for Non-Energy Mineral Resources horizon 2035, ). Modern mining, in general, must ensure favorable relations between profits (from investments) and local, zonal, regional development requirements. On the agenda of decision-makers in the field are general objectives such as: financing of research, development and innovation in the mining industry, harmonized legislative and institutional framework in the field of energetic and non-energetic mineral resources, sustainable exploitation. Among the specific objectives are: the repositioning of the mining field within the general system of industries of maximum societal interest, environmental protection, risk management, closure of mines, greening and their post-exploitation monitoring, socio-economic regeneration of mining communities in mono- industrial. (Andrei, J.V., Gâf-Deac. I.I., et al., 2021),  Extrapolating these aspects, it can be deduced that for the mining/energy sector with a high degree of complexity as well as the non-energy sector, the issues and objectives are similar. Corresponding author: Radu Sorin Mihai, prof. Ph.D. eng., University of Petrosani, Petrosani, Romania, Contact details: University of Petrosani, 20 University Street, email@example.com 101 Revista Minelor – Mining Revue vol. 29, issue 1 / 2023 ISSN-L 1220-2053 / ISSN 2247-8590 pp. 101-110 Cluster-type industrial-economic agglomerations in mining basins in Romania, and in other countries, are identified at lower levels of aggregation, while mining units are geographically located in close proximity to each other. In this context, it appears important, of interest, to determine and evaluate the spatial concentration of mining perimeters holding useful mineral substances, including energy, even reaching the establishment of localization coefficients with the help of which the level of proximity or industrial distance can be measured- economic between mining operations and consumers of mining products. Mainly, there is a need to resort to industrial mining/energy cluster analyzes to adequately describe the "zonal mining economy", to identify the alignments in which it offers comparative/competitive advantages. 2. Conceptual approaches to clustering The definition of clusters and their conceptual framework is observed in economic geography due to the continuous, accelerated growth of economies, which change the spaces of location and industrial-economic action. The theoretical approach was initiated by Michael Porter in 1998, , who analyzed the determinant of the competitiveness of an agglomeration in a region or space where producers and consumers are located. According to M. Porter (1990), "clusters are geographical concentrations of interconnected companies and institutions in a particular field (eg mining), related industries and entities for competition." A cluster does not refer to a certain number of companies, it does not limit or increase their number, but highlights the common location, the concentration of companies and activities, the flows between them, which generates synergy and opportunities for positive effects of agglomeration from collaboration. Interconnections and geographic proximity generate externalities for competitive advantages, with cost reductions being recorded through co-location. The Paris Agreement on the environment  and the Energy Union Strategy put before the EU a number of common action dimensions such as energy security and decarbonization, which proved suitable for conceptual, programmatic comprehensiveness in local and regional energy-mining clusters, for sustainable energy planning, smart energy use, etc. For example, the Integrated National Plan in the field of Energy and Climate Change 2021-2030 in Romania, , refers to the Bulgaria-Romania Cluster, called the Black Sea Corridor, with Projects of Common Interest such as LEA 400 kV Smârdan-Gutinaş (RO); LEA 400 kV Cernavodă - Stâlpu, with input/output circuit in Gura Ialomiţei (RO) and/or the Romania – Serbia Cluster (Mid Continental East Corridor and Italy – Montenegro), with other projects of common interest. In these clusters, the level of interconnection of the national electrical transmission networks is increasing rapidly, investments to increase capacity and investments for transmission interconnections are expected. As such, by way of example, these clusters have an impact on energy security and commercial impact on the single energy market. (Gâf-Deac. I.I., Coandreș, C., et al., 2015),  On the other hand, it is specified that the simple agglomeration of mining/energy companies or entities from the same branch is not enough to be a cluster, because collaborations, exchanges, relations between companies, the achievement of mutual goals and recognitions, reputation must be established. From the general plan of science, the industrial-economic procedural delimitation for obtaining material resources can take place and, in this way, conceptual variants of the problems raised by how to establish "explicit objectives" and how to formalize an "industrial-strategy" can be formulated economic" in a multitude of enterprises such as those that make up the complex system of mining and energy resources. Industrial-economic processes, including mining or energy, associated with markets considered distinct sub-structures, can be support for recognized and operationalized production variants efficiently, as such. In context, the micro mining industrial behaviors and their effects at the macro-economic level can be claimed from an econometrics of dynamic economic structures. (Radu, S.M., Khamis, J. Scutelnicu, I.P., Bărbulescu, A., et al., 2021),  That is why, when we are dealing with many enterprises in mining areas, it is necessary to search for efficiency methods, ways to maximize the utility of their operation, in accordance with the requirements for the consumption of useful mineral substances, primary energy resources and energy and in relative to their production potential. Usually, in the mining industrial-economic structures, the parametric sides, the lines of formalization that express maximized quantitative variants of the physical production are sought. 102 Revista Minelor – Mining Revue vol. 29, issue 1 / 2023 ISSN-L 1220-2053 / ISSN 2247-8590 pp. 101-110 However, the maximization of preferences (requirements) for useful mineral substances, primary energy resources and energy must also be taken into account, which in turn determine new industrial-economic- productive behaviors in specific markets. 3. Research from the specialized literature In the complex system of mining and energy resources, clustering generally proves difficult to perform and, as such, the literature does not have many direct approaches based on legalities with strong correlational meanings in the field. In a preliminary context, of a comprehensive approach, Tvaronavičienė, M., et al., (2015), , shows that "an urgent problem of sustainable development is represented by the combination of energy security, economic growth, environmental health management and maintaining competitiveness in the long term" and suggests that "a comparative compatibility between unrestricted energy availability and the development of national industrial economies" must be achieved. On the same direction of scientific investigation, Bishan, W., (2018), , examines the relationship between the life cycle of industrial-extractive processes, the development of the energy industry and the requirements of the ecological environment, taking into account associated quantitative and political variables the process of reforming the energy industry system at the microeconomic level, respectively decarbonization in a regional energy industrial cluster. It is of interest that Peter, E. and Andras, A., (2020), , advance substantiated conclusions on the spatial interconnections between productive entities, offering the example of the interaction and links between the space of the Jiului Valley (carboniferous basin) and its representation, launching the phrase "reading the space" useful for the concept of "pre-clustering". Teichgraeber, H. and Brandt, A.R., (2019), , conclusively describe a framework for approaching clustering methods, and comparing different forms of grouping between cluster members obtain support for solutions in energy system optimization problems. The authors speak of "operational optimization through methods based on the centroid approach" (dynamic modification of interaction intervals/average barycentric time). It is noted that Madhulatha, T.S., (2012), , explains, synthetically, that, in fact, "clustering is a technique associated with the analysis of statistical data, a process of grouping similar objects (for example, mining, energy companies, etc.) in different groups”. This clustering is characterized by dividing a data set into subsets, which express predefined/defined distances between cluster members. According to the authors Dhanachandra, N. and Chanu, Y.J., (2017), , "clustering is a commonly used image segmentation technique", which suggests dimensional examinations (distances and distances) between members of a group of entities such as mining and energy companies. From the accounts above and from other documentary judgments it follows, therefore, that a clustered grouping of entities marks situations where the "distance" between pairs of observations can be quantified. However, the correlation between observations cannot be easily modeled. In such a case, MacKinnon, J.G., et al., recently (2023), , propose "using robust cluster inference and least squares estimation". On this basis, robust standard errors for the cluster are calculated which are then used to make asymptotic valid inferences, arriving at the true coverage of the confidence intervals in the data. The authors state that "in practice, inference must be based on a cluster-robust variance estimator, which estimates the unknown variance matrix". In this framework, we reach the use of "robust cluster inference", "asymptotic inference" generating "intra-cluster correlation models" and building a matrix of exogenous regressors. It ends up that, effectively, the cluster is "well approximated by a multivariate normal distribution with zero mean". We advance the thesis that in a cluster the "problem of how to choose the grouping structure" and "knowing the real grouping structure, at least to a good approximation" must be solved. 4. Scientific research methodology and theoretical-scientific support A special place in the research process for the present work is occupied by the documentation of the results of scientific research carried out on a national and international level, respectively their analysis in the field of clustering in the complex system of mining and energy resources. 103 Revista Minelor – Mining Revue vol. 29, issue 1 / 2023 ISSN-L 1220-2053 / ISSN 2247-8590 pp. 101-110 The idea was assumed, proven imported, that the identification of the types of problems and the reporting of critical situations for which to advance solutions and appropriate solutions in the context of sustainability is the main step in the approach of scientific research for the present work. (Roșcanu Beloiu, R., Ch. Rostand, M.M., Khamis, J., Burian, Al.A., Scutelnicu, I.P., et al., 2020),  In the research for the present article, the notion of method is assumed to have different meanings with a wider meaning, depending on the criteria aimed at the finding, reactivity and purposes of the research, respectively the transition to clustering in the mining/energy field. During the research, it emerged that the quantitative methods involve statistical analysis of some data, and the qualitative ones capitalize on information obtained from participatory / non-participative observations. The second working variant (qualitative method) was resorted to, analyzing and thematically organizing data about the mining industrial-economic field, of particular interest being the study of agglomerations of mining entities. Authors' opinions and experiences were inserted into predetermined categories, aiming to reach significant results, convincing for clustering, with the potential to be generalizable. 5. Results and discussion In the new mining industry and economy, the cluster represents groups of industries, industrial technologies, including extractive natural resources, minerals, inter-related energy that lead to obtaining benefits in a region, area, area, based primarily on the supply of mining products required, energy, even specific goods and services. In fact, a mining/energy cluster is a tool that describes, formalizes local, zonal, regional productive- economic relations, used with the aim of actually promoting the mining industry in a coal-bearing basin (for example, the Jiului Valley) that is leading in local plan (mono-industry), innovatively generating an economic dynamic, not excluding the traditional methods of productive, extractive operation. In particular, a mining industrial cluster has a different definition from the mining industrial sector, as the former refers to the entire value chain, from exploitation to the final consumer (thermal power plants, domestic consumption, etc.), including specialized infrastructure. Likewise, a mining industrial cluster is characterized by geographic concentration (for example, the Jiului Valley Depression, the zonal distribution system of hydrocarbon-type fuels in Western Syria, the set of starch-producing enterprises in the central area of Cameroon, using renewable energy, etc.) , to which are added the endogenous interconnections in product supply flows (coal, for example, to the Hunedoara Energy Complex). Mainly, one flow in question is the one that ensures the connection between the mining industry in the cluster and the rest of the productive-economic (thermal power plants) in the economy. In Romania, there are 8 economic and social development regions. These represent areas where initial premises can appear for the formalization of industrial clusters, where mining and energy clusters are also found. The dynamic industrial-economic coverage of each region can be obtained by resorting to alliance and cooperation formulas. For example, the Regional Mining and Energy Technological Alliance can be established, in which a regional generic contractor will operate, promoting the collaborative mining and energy economy (fig. 1). It is noted that initial financial resources are needed, which feed the mining/energy clusters oriented towards the exploitation and valorization of useful mineral substances and primary energy resources in order to obtain benefits, not only comparative but also competitive advantages, relying on a clusterian circuit as shown in fig.1. The industrial mining/energy cluster analysis represents the method that adequately describes the "zonal mining economy" (for example, the Jiului Valley), identifying the alignments in which it offers comparative/competitive advantages. In the extractive mining sector, based on our research, the clusters present themselves functionally by offering comparative advantages, because the commandable values, for example, for the Jiului Valley, are relatively critical, pressing. Entrances, underground extractive productivity (galleries, abatages) and collaborative efforts are carefully monitored. 104 Revista Minelor – Mining Revue vol. 29, issue 1 / 2023 ISSN-L 1220-2053 / ISSN 2247-8590 pp. 101-110 Figure 1. The "clusters - links - infrastructures" alignment for the promotion of the mining and energy economy in a collaborative regime (Source: authors, 2020) A cluster can be an engine of regional economic growth. However, in the new mining/energy industry and economy, in our opinion, clusters must be generators of competitive advantages. Therefore, the evolution of the industry and the mining economy of the future must be fundamentally linked to the emergence/establishment of innovative clusters, providers of competitive advantages (fig. 2). Figure 2. Trends towards innovative clusters in the new industry and mining / energy economy to introduce competitive advantage in the field (Source: authors, 2020) 105 Revista Minelor – Mining Revue vol. 29, issue 1 / 2023 ISSN-L 1220-2053 / ISSN 2247-8590 pp. 101-110 The technical formula for the analysis of mining/energy industrial clusters is based on the "industrial classification standard" or on the specifications from the CAEN code (Romanian regulations). Companies located in mining/energy clusters show a predisposition to interrelationships, and proximity or local support leads to the emergence of the phenomenon of an industrial climate dominated by "collective advantage". Obstacles are overcome together, and problems are solved together, and the goals of the economic agents in the mining areas are tangential or identical. So, clustering in the new mining, energy industry and economy generates emergence, pre-feasible and feasible functional concentration, characterized by increased reliability, when all operational characteristics are conventionally favorable, accepted. The mining and energy business environment also falls under the scope of diversification and globalization. In this context, the phenomenon of the emergence of new structures of groups of mining companies (clusterization) is taking place, which aims at the reconfiguration: a) horizontal, b) vertical, c) informal, d) decentralized and e) in the network. 6. Anthropogenic impacts and mining/energy clustering Apparently, there are structural, functional, operational incompatibilities between the anthropogenic difficulties (environmental damage) and clustering. Based on our observations (in the mining and energy environment in Romania, but also in other countries such as Syria, Cameroon, etc.), it follows that these incompatibilities can be mitigated or eliminated. On the contrary, mining units in the post-exploitation phase can offer interest in joint action, in areas with agglomerations of emerging greening activities. For example, if the state, the situation of the environment (its quality), the safety of work and the level of health insurance in a researched area are known almost to an infinitesimal extent, then the multiplication of infrastructures, businesses and sub-structures of the New Economy / Mining / Energy Industry takes place. Thus, the common framework and climate for technological and entrepreneurial innovation is created. In fact, the contribution to the creation of a healthy and sustainable environment for the present and future generations is recorded. (Bărbulescu, A., 2020),  Industrial mining sites are highly complex, and environmental polluters, even if they are few in number, have an extremely aggressive action character, with reference to explosions, sorting, washing and preparation of coals, coal burning in thermal power plants, waste heaps, polluted mine waters, landscape disturbances, land subsidence. Major accidents such as surprises and gray gas explosions are domain specific. Based on observations on the ground (Bărbulescu, C.A. and Radu, S.M., 2022), , it follows that it is necessary, for example, to research the model of the underground oil mining process in the Jiului Valley starting from the micro-scale level, through the meso-scale to the macro-scale (fig. 3). Figure 3. Research of the model of the process of underground mining of coal in the Jiului Valley with premises for emergence aimed at the formation of a specific cluster (Source: Bărbulescu, C.A, Radu, S.M.., 2022),  106 Revista Minelor – Mining Revue vol. 29, issue 1 / 2023 ISSN-L 1220-2053 / ISSN 2247-8590 pp. 101-110 In the last 20 years, 11 mines have been closed in the Jiului Valley, of which 9 are greened. E.M. Lonea and E.M. Lupeni is in the closing program (Decision no. 2010/787/EU, supplemented by Decision C-2018-100), with the deadline for the completion of the works until 2026-2027. E.M. Livezeni and E.M. Vulcan has the prospect of total closure by 2030. The closure of coal quarries (the case of Valea de Brazi Microquarry in Valea Jiului) has consequences that, with different intensities, influence the environment and general, public safety. The post-closure period is dedicated to surface development, reclamation of the area and management of industrial mining waste. However, the situation is different for closed underground mines, with mining stopped. With the cessation of mining operations it is necessary to identify the inherent hazards. These must be analyzed for minimization. The emission of methane after the closing dykes, from the coal formations following the panels exploited with mechanized abating complexes and in the long galleries without backfilling, influences the level of danger that manifests itself, according to studies in the specialized literature already 15-20 years ago. (Krause E., Pokryszka Z., 2013),  The migration of gases to the surface in post-mining areas is intensified when the shafts are closed and the general ventilation of the mine (venting system) stops. In the underground structure of the Lupeni mine, for example, in the already closed spaces, a laminar displacement of gases is registered under the influence of the pressure gradient, temperature and natural depression. In the first phase, the gas migrates by desorption from the coal seams. In the second phase, the methane gas flows freely, laminarly (spreading) in underground gallery structures that are not completely closed, or still operational. Then migration to the surface takes place, relative to the permeability of the overlying rock mass. This is the ideal environment for explosions of methane gas, gray gas. On the territory of each locality in Valea Jiului there are tailing dumps, in total in the basin in number of 64, storing a volume of approx. 37 million m3, occupying the area of approx. 250 ha. Active landfill Branch 3, from E.M. Lupeni occupies an area of 16.64 ha and a volume of approx. 2.38 million cubic meters of waste; this presents a potential danger for the inhabitants, human health and the environment, because it affects the structural integrity and zonal stability. Active dump Funicular New from E.M. Uricani has an area of 27 ha and a deposited volume of tailings of approx. 600 thousand m3. Tailings deposit Branch 2 from Valea Jiului Coal Preparation Exploitation (E.P.C.V.J) occupies 7.96 ha of land with the deposit of approx. 2.60 million m3 tailings resulting from the washing (preparation) of raw coal from mining operations. Lonea 1 waste dump from E.M. Lonea is located on 5.8 ha with approx. 486,000 m3 of tailings deposited against the designed (admitted) capacity of 450,000 m3. From observations in the field, it is found that in the area of the ponds there are phenomena of displacement, the decrease of the load-bearing capacity of the land, the infestation of waters, etc. Oil extraction, however, mainly disturbed lands; there are traces of the former mining galleries, some buildings on the surface are at risk of collapse in the areas affected by subsidence, as observed in the Lupeni 5 Sud area (fig. 4). We believe that through the cluster the monitoring of risks and their analysis towards the population and the environment shows more commitment, especially in the perimeters where the mining operations are closed. Where the process of overturning the abattoirs is foreseen through joint decisions of the members of the cluster, the activities of building buildings on the surface must be prohibited, until the final, consolidated state of settlement of the massif under the constructions is validated. The post-exploitation physico-chemical processes on the lands related to industrial waste deposits and those with municipal waste have the potential for contamination with heavy metals. Waste management is related to the requirement to conserve resources and protect the environment. In the context, we appreciate that the cluster ensures speed of action for making the transition to a regional circular economy. On the other hand, for the members of the cluster, it is opportune to analyze and review, to reconsider the negative perspective of combating the total abandonment of coal in the Jiului Valley, as new potential for capitalizing on this energy resource can be seen to the extent that innovative reconceptualization is resorted to technical, technological and economic extraction of oil from underground. 107 Revista Minelor – Mining Revue vol. 29, issue 1 / 2023 ISSN-L 1220-2053 / ISSN 2247-8590 pp. 101-110 Figure 4. Mining shaft 5 Sud from the Lupeni 5 Sud mine, located on mining land affected by subsidence (post-exploitation, from underground with complex mechanized frontal cuttings) (Source: Bărbulescu, A., own research portfolio, 2020),  Basically, the thesis of "sustainable management of the geological fund, of the accumulations/coal deposit in the Jiului Valley" is launched. On this basis, through the cluster, a new economic development of the area is expected, monitoring and mastering the environmental factors, the environmental impact, identifying sub-sectors of the circular economy to become functional, efficient in the Jiu Valley. Therefore, we believe that the reconfiguration of the energy sector can be done by maintaining energy production in the Jiului Valley, with new, innovative, feasible energy assets. Basically, we propose the cluster identification of energy activities complementary to the zonal extractive mining sector by resorting to composition (mixing) with other natural resources from the Petroșani geographic Depression, which creates premises for the clusterization process. The existence of synergistic effects between the environmental factors of the Carboniferous Basin is also noted. As early as 1978, the American Council for Environmental Quality, , launched the concept of cumulative environmental effect when the present effects are brought together with the previous ones and the induction, by perpetuation, of future damage states, which are difficult to quantify. Previous anthropogenic disturbances are found aggregated in the system of cumulative anthropogenic effects in the Jiului Carboniferous Basin. For example, the evolution of the estimated number of employees, under the conditions of regional restructuring/reconversion, shows a sharp decrease over a 5-year period (2022-2027), and the laid-off people/employees are moving to other countries (immigration) as long as the area does not new jobs, other facilities for work and living outside the mono-industrial mining environment are provided (Table 1). Table 1. The decrease in the number of employees (2022-2027) in the coal extractive sector in the Jiului Valley (example for the Lupeni and Livezeni mines) (Source: Bărbulescu, A., own research portfolio, data processing from CEH, 202/ 2021),  108 Revista Minelor – Mining Revue vol. 29, issue 1 / 2023 ISSN-L 1220-2053 / ISSN 2247-8590 pp. 101-110 In an overall view, the ecological environment in the mining areas, from the point of view of exploitation and post-exploitation, is vulnerable. We note that mining land, subsidence, loss of water resources, water, air pollution and other environmental influences induced by oil extraction are the result of the operation of each mine, on average, approx. 50 years (for example, the productive life of a mining unit in the Valea Jiului area). At the same time, the cumulative effect of the impacts is noticed, a situation in which the damage caused to the zonal habitat often exceeds the perimeter environmental capacity (over thresholds of anthropic acceptability). Clusters, in fact, offer the potential for notification, systematization and joint decision-making between regional actors to counteract the shortcomings and the lack of competitive management in the field. 7. Conclusions A cluster does not refer to a certain number of firms, but highlights the common location, the concentration of companies, which generates synergy and opportunities for positive agglomeration effects. Interconnections and geographic proximity generate externalities for competitive advantages, with cost reductions being recorded through co-location. Clustering in the new mining and energy industry/economy generates the emergence of local/regional sub-economies, pre-feasible and feasible functional concentration, characterized by increased reliability, when all operational characteristics are conventionally favorable, accepted. A new economy without an adapted economic action formula is subject to structural-functional risks. The mining/energy industrial cluster analysis offers possibilities to identify areas in which comparative advantages can be obtained. Contextually, clusters operate in the regime of providers (generators) of competitive advantages. 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Mining Revue – de Gruyter
Published: Mar 1, 2023
Keywords: clustering; complex system of mining and energy resources; comparative advantage; competitive advantage; new industry and mining economy
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