Mine dumps

The former Königstein uranium mine located in the southeast of Saxony is now managed by the Königstein Operations Office. The area under rehabilitation includes the subsites of Dresden-Gittersee and Königstein. The plant area of the Königstein site is located inside the "Sächsische Schweiz" landscape conservation area and borders on the national park of the same name.

Conventional uranium mining from the deposit at the Königstein site was undertaken for a period of only about 15 years. Therefore, and because this site borders the Saxon Switzerland National Park the site counted only a single major mine dump, the  Schüsselgrund waste rock pile.

This mine dump is still active as it is needed for site remediation purposes such as the safe disposal of water treatment residues, excavated contaminated soil and demolition wastes. The slope system of the dump is nearly complete and capped with mineral soil. Placement of a test cover on the top slopes in 1999 was a crucial step toward remediation. Further capping of the dump will be stepwise in accordance with disposal needs. Completion of the mine dump remediation will depend on cessation of flood water treatment and site remediation performance. Following remediation, this mine dump will perfectly blend in with the surrounding landscape.

From the 1950's Wismut took temporarily charge of the then highly engineered hard coal mining at the Dresden-Gittersee site as the coal was uranium bearing. From 1968 on, Wismut had complete control of the site. This situation created a unique link between traditional hard coal and uranium mining operations. When remediation of this mining district began in the mid-1990's this put an end to 450 years of mining operations at this site. The Marienschacht and Gittersee mine dumps are part of this rehabilitation site.

The Marienschacht mine dump and the plant area were reclaimed from 1997 to 1999. This included capping of the dump with a multiple layer cover and grass seeding to protect the surface against erosion. The Marienschacht pit shaft is of the Malakoff type, a bit uncommon headframe in Germany. Preserved down to a depth of 10 metres during site remediation, the brickwalled circular shaft is listed as a technical monument and along with the nearby mine dump is evocative of the mining past.

The Gittersee mine dump with a volume of approx. 1.2 million cubic metres was also remediated in situ. In addition to waste rock, wastes deposited in the dump include excavated soils, demolition debris, and water treatment residues. For the benefit of providing sufficient storage capacity, the dump had to be extended to include two additional plots. Remediation of the Gittersee mine dump also included capping with a multiple layer cover. Placement of the cover was terminated in 2006, except for a small residual area. This residual area is the location of a flood water treatment plant. Following completion of the WISMUT-Stolln that plant will be demolished.

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