Clean-up of mines

The clean-up measures regarding the mining industry refer to the mining of brown-coal, potash and rock salt, copper shale, iron pyrites as well as to fluorspar and heavy spar. Above this, currently urgently required mine-filling activities are prepared at the ultimate disposal place for radioactive waste in Morsleben (ERAM). Holder of the operation authorisation is the Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (BfS) (Department of Radiation Protection). The clean-up of potash and rock salt mining as well as of copper shale, iron pyrites, fluorspar and heavy spar mining is largely completed.

Special importance in Saxony-Anhalt is given to the clean-up of former brown-coal opencast mines. In relation to Germany's re-unification the opening of the market, competitive energy prices and a considerably reduced industrial demand for energy led to a change regarding the source of such energy which, in consequence, made it necessary that the extraction of brown-coal had to be reduced to an economically and region-politically acceptable level. Of the eleven previous brown-coal opencast mines in Saxony-Anhalt only two ( Profen and Amsdorf ) were successfully privatised and continue to operate.

On the basis of the Federal Mining Law the operator of the mine is legally bound to recondition the territory affected by mining in such a manner that it is available for subsequent use. Such availability needs to satisfy, besides the provisions set out in the Mining Law, also regional and state planning targets.

In addition to the massive interference with landscape and groundwater caused by the territorially large brown-coal opencast mines and the sites belonging to the refining industry, the necessary clean-up measures also involved territories that were affected by quite considerable deposits of industrial wastes and residues.

Responsible for the observance of the legal requirements of the Mining Law in respect to brown-coal mines that are not eligible for privatisation is the Lausitzer und Mitteldeutsche Bergbau-Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH ( LMBV ) (Lausitzer and Mitteldeutsche Mining Management Company). This company is a public enterprise owned by the federal state and is responsible, as a mining company and project operator, especially for clean-up planning, project management and clean-up controlling.