International Mining Symposium

October 9 to 11, 2019 in Chemnitz

Field trips

Field trip A

850 years Freiberg – Tradition and innovation in mining, teaching and research

(in co-operation with TU Bergakademie Freiberg)

The silver and university city Freiberg looks back on 850 years of active mining history. As oldest mining town in Saxony, it is also home of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg since more than 250 years. Even after cessation of the industrial mining in the last century, active training for engineers and scientists was offered in the research and training mine in Freiberg. It is also used by a multitude of research institutions and service providers in the field of mining and resource development. Freiberg is the only mining school in the East of Germany, developing into a University of Resources in the last decades. 


As part of the field trip, the possibilities in research on natural resources will be shown by visiting a number of institutions. We will see for example the research and training mine, the research facilities of the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology as well as further research facilities.

As touristic highlight, a visit of the Terra Mineralia as one of the world’s largest mineral exhibitions can be offered. 


  • Departure from Chemnitz: 08:00 am
  • Return to Chemnitz by 06:30 pm

Silver Mine Freiberg - Shaft "Reiche Zeche"
(TU Bergakademie Freiberg)
Preparations at test station for micrpobial in-situ leaching, core drilling of leaching holes into the vein (TU Bergakademie Freiberg) 
Underground robot
(TU Bergakademie Freiberg)

Field trip B  

Mine remediation in the Czech uranium province

(in co-operation with DIAMO state enterprise)

Mine Svornost (Einigkeit)

Mine Svornost dates back to 1518 and since 1530 it is the longest working mine in Central Europe. First, silver was mined here, later renowned for uranium mining by political prisoners. It is now in operation for Jáchymov Spa with a source of medicinal radon water in its underground. It is possible to visit 12th floor with a pumping station.

Minthouse - Museum of Karlovy Vary

A permanent exhibition is devoted to the history of the city of Jáchymov, demonstration of the mineral resources of the Ore Mountains, silver mining with a dynamic model of mining activity and the time of the greatest prosperity of the Jáchymov Minthouse and Renaissance culture. The exhibition also describes the local industry and the city's blossoming in the era of radon spa. There is also a permanent exposition about the political prisoners' camps in Jáchymov uranium mines after 1950.

  • Departure from Chemnitz: ca. 08:00 am

  • Return to Chemnitz by 05:00 pm

Mine Svornost in winter
(author Jiri Pihera)

Radon water pumping well for the Spa Jáchimov
(author Jiri Pihera)

Figurine of the Mintmaster
(archive of the Museum Karlovy Vary)

Field trip C

Wismut site Crossen – 25 years of tailings remediation and transition to post-remedial care

Field trip C presents the actual status of the uranium mining remediation and after care at Crossen, today a part of the city of Zwickau (ca. 90,000 inhabitants). The former Crossen uranium processing plant was erected in the town of Crossen from 1949 to 1950. It was one of the two large uranium processing plants of the former Soviet German Wismut Company. Low grade ore was dumped on the large Crossen waste rock dump. Tailings were disposed into several tailings ponds until 1989. The largest is the Helmsdorf tailings pond covering an area of 2 km2 and containing 45 Mm3 of tailings. The field trip will present the status of the remediation achieved on the Crossen mill site and on the tailings ponds Helmsdorf and Dänkritz 1. We will visit the operating water treatment plant at the Helmsdorf tailings pond and the last ongoing works on re-contouring, dam reshaping and final covering on the pond area.
Establishment of vegetation, reforestation, water engineering, landscape management and aspects of species protection is presented in more detail on Dänkritz 1 tailings pond, where remediation ended in 2006. All remediation on this site will be completed by 2021. In addition, the field trip will familiarize us with the remediation project of the waste rock dump Crossen and of Dänkritz 2, the last unremediated tailings pond near the Crossen site. Both projects are jointly funded by the federal government and Free State of Saxony. Remediation of the waste rock dump Crossen was already completed by 2010 while the planning approval for the Dänkritz 2 tailings remediation project was received in 2018. It will be realized until 2024. Based on numerous examples, the field trip will show, how the impact of environmental laws and laws of protection of species on realizing remediation projects on abandoned or closed mining sites changed over the last 25 years.
  • Departure from Chemnitz: 08:00 am
  • Return to Chemnitz by 05:00 pm

Tailings ponds Helmsdorf and Dänkritz 1 und 2
Water treatment plant Helmsdorf and replacement waters for avifauna (in the foreground)
Remediated area Crossen

Field trip D

Silver, cobalt and uranium – Mining remediation and cultural heritage at Annaberg region (Ore Mountains)

The field trip leads to the district town Annaberg-Buchholz, a classical mining town in the upper Ore Mountains. The foundation of the two parts Annaberg and Buchholz is due to the silver mining, which ran from 1492 to 1892. Temporarily, also bismuth, cobalt, tin and copper ores were mined. It followed a short, but very intensive period of uranium mining from 1946 to 1958. Besides the historical waste rock dump landscape in the Frohnau district also visitor mines, hammer mills and the St. Annen Church are visible evidence of the mining heritage. However, insufficient filling of near-surface mine workings and openings as well as waste dumps in close vicinity to residential buildings belong to the mining legacies, too. Here, closure and remediation work is currently being conducted, which is jointly funded by the Federal Republic of Germany and the Free State of Saxony.
  • Departure from Chemnitz: ca. 08:30 am
  • Return to Chemnitz: by 05:00 pm

View of Annaberg-Buchholz town with St. Annen Church
Remediated site of shaft 116(drei Könige waste rock pile, stewardship site Annaberg-Buchholz 2016)
Arial view of Drei Könige waste rock pile during remediation works, 2008

Field trip E  

Freital and the south of Dresden – From mining to a high-tech center


The field trip leads us to the Saxon capital Dresden and its western neighbor Freital. In the region, hard coal mining was conducted from the 16th century until 1967. From 1947 to 1989, hard coal associated with uranium and uranium ore were mined and in part also processed on site (total amount of extracted uranium: 3700 t).

In Freital, we will visit a radioactive tailings pond (picture 1) and a waste rock dump, which are currently under remediation. After that, we will visit successfully reintegrated landscapes after mining remediation in the urban districts Dresden-Coschütz and Dresden-Gittersee. Historical buildings of mining will be visited, such as the Malakoff Tower (picture 2) and a memorial to the miners killed in a mining accident in 1869. In Gittersee (picture 3) as well as in Coschütz we can convince ourselves of the successful remediation of the uranium mining legacies. In Dresden-Coschütz, meanwhile a commercial area with numerous companies of the high-tech-industry has been established.

The field trip will end by a short visit in the historic center of the former Baroque town Dresden.


  • Departure from Chemnitz: ca. 08:30 am
  • Return to Chemnitz by 18:30 pm


Tailings ponds 4 in Freital under remediation
Marien shaft with Malakoff tower and remediated Marien shaft dump south of Dresden
Remediated operational area and Gittersee dump

de en