Reiche Zeche

Germany

Since the 1800s, silver production and mining education have benefitted from one another in Reche Zeche. Today multiple research institutions and industry partners use the mine for developing new technology, production methods and materials.

Reiche Zeche is a lead-zinc-silver deposit in Freiberg where mining started in the 12th century. Reiche Zeche is a part of the mine Himmelfahrt Fundgrube that was founded as a consortium of multiple individual shafts in 1839 to enhance the production of silver in Freiberg.


Operator

University of Technology Bergakademie Freiberg

tu-freiberg.de/lfbw

Contact person

Professor Dr. Helmut Mischo

helmut.mischo@mabb.tu-freiberg.de

The facility and future expansion

The mine in Freiberg was first closed in 1913 and transferred to the University of Technology Bergakademie Freiberg in 1919 for educational purposes. The mine was reactivated in 1937, and once again in operation up until 1969. Finally, in 1976, the shafts Reiche Zeche and Alte Elisabeth were again transferred to the university for research and education.

Today multiple research institutions and partners from industry use the mine to develop new technology, production methods and new materials or to acquire reference materials for their databases. Multiple universities also make use of the mine for practical training of their mining and surveying students.

It is intended to develop the mine as a European platform for enhancing mining techniques and education. A new access ramp and new fields, rooms and drifts are planned.

The Reiche Zeche mine includes 129 km of drifts of which 19 km are safely accessible and frequently in use. The mine is accessible down to a level of 230 metres. The lower part, from 750 metres downwards, is flooded. The mine is accessed through two shafts.

Site characteristics

Ore veins were created in Carboniferous to Permian and late Jurassic to tertiary periods within the already existing gneiss in connection with the variscan and alpine orogeny. The main minerals in the deposit are galena, sphalerite, pyrite, chalcopyrite, arsenopyrite and quartz.

The temperature inside the mine stays at about 10–12°C, with a similarly constant humidity of 97–98 % year-round.

Specialized knowledge

Specialized knowledge, laboratories and workshops are available in all mining and raw material related fields at the individual departments of the university. The mine management is capable of establishing underground test sites, workshops and office spaces for long-term projects.

Data available

Research data are collected, processed and stored by the performing partners individually. Contact information for these partners is available on request. Some general data on the mine are available as textbooks or papers.

Travel to Reiche Zeche

Reiche Zeche is located on the edge of the Erzgebirge in the municipality of Freiberg. Freiberg is located in the centre of Saxony between Dresden and Chemnitz, and about 40 km from either city. It is close to the Czechoslovak border.

Freiberg can be reached from
– Dresden Airport within 45 minutes by car (50 km) or 1 hour by train via Dresden Central Station
– Prague Airport (Czech Republic) within 2 hours by car (140 km) or 4 hours by train via Dresden Central Station

3D visualization of the facility

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