Successful mining symposium WISSYM 2019 in retrospect
Under the topic „Shaping the future: Long-term experiences and innovations in mine remediation”, the international mining symposium WISSYM 2019 ended successfully. From October 9 to 11, 2019, about 240 participants from 26 countries learned about remediation concepts and innovative technologies, water management and water treatment, environmental aspects and social acceptance, applied research as well as (international) collaboration and knowledge transfer.
Preceding to WISSYM 2019, the International Atomic Energy Agency organized a Technical Meeting of the Uranium Mining and Remediation Exchange Group (UMREG) on October 7 and 8, 2019 in Chemnitz. Wismut participated with expert presentations in the exchange of experiences among about 50 experts from the member states of IAEA.
The opening of the mining symposium, which was hosted in collaboration with IAEA and under the auspices of the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Mr. Peter Altmaier, was given by Wismut’s managing director, Dr. Michael Paul. The starting signal for the “descent” into the symposium’s programme was given by Heino Neuber from the Saxon State Federation of Miners’, Metallurgy’ and Qualified Miners’ Associations e. V. in presence of the Prime Minister of the Free State of Thuringia, Bodo Ramelow, and the Lord Mayor of the city of Chemnitz, Barbara Ludwig.
In his welcoming address, Bodo Ramelow turned out the topic of the mining symposium: Keeping up tradition and shaping the future. He shows to be deeply impressed on the example of the transformation of the former uranium mining site Schlema into the present spa Bad Schlema.
Barbara Ludwig traced the mining history of Chemnitz and complimented the positive results of the internationally well-respected Wismut environmental remediation project. She appreciated the nomination of the Mining Cultural Landscape Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří as UNESCO world heritage, in which also parts of Wismut are included.
The parliamentary state secretary to the Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy, Oliver Wittke, underlined the huge importance of mining for the business location Germany. In this context, he highlighted the Wismut remediation of the former uranium mining sites as a positive example for dealing with mining legacies: “In the last 28 years, outstanding remediation results were achieved!”
Once again, WISSYM was preluded by a day of field trips: Five thematic field trips were offered with regard to the main topics innovative re-use of former mining sites and socio-economic aspects of after-mining. For the first time, a field trip to the Czech uranium province around Jàchymov was performed by DIAMO state enterprise. Another field trip to Freiberg was organized by the TU Bergakademie Freiberg.The field trips formed the base for the exchange of experiences during the following two conference days.
In the two-days lecture programme, common experiences from previous mining remediation projects were interchanged and new ideas and remediation strategies were presented. National and international experts discussed the perspectives and challenges in shaping a liveable and sustainable future at former mining sites.
A panel discussion on the topic „Innovation in mining remediation between scientific insight and practical application” chaired by Prof. Helmut Mischo, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, lead to a lively participation between panellists and the audience.
The large number of national and international guests from economy, policy, science and administration has shown that the international mining symposium WISSYM has evolved as an important conference on mine remediation and the Wismut GmbH is a respected partner for all mining and remediation actors.