Past Lectures 2017

The ‘Freiberg Colloquium’ is a series of lectures of the Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology, of the Saxon Mining Authority, of the Geokompetenzzentrum Freiberg. e.V., of the Saxon State Archives/Mining Archives, of the Technical University of Freiberg and of the terra mineralia.

Thursday, 26. January 2017, 7.30 pm

Skarns, greisen and pegmatite: research into processing complex ores using the example of the EU’s FAME project

Dr. Wolfgang Reimer, Freiberg Geocompetence Centre e.V.
151. Freiberg Kolloquium, senate hall of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Akademiestraße 6

As the latest round of the Freiberg Colloquium kicks off in the new year, we begin by taking a look at Saxony and the broader European context: What are the obstacles to the development of our ore deposits in Saxony? What is the situation in other European countries? How does the European Union help us, and how does joint research take place in the international environment? Dr Wolfgang Reimer, Director of the Freiberg Geocompetence Centre, will provide an overview of this using the example of the EU’s FAME - Flexible And Modular Economic processing technologies research project. He’ll lead the audience on a journey through eight European mining nations and will discuss the relationships between sustainable mining, local acceptance, technological developments, and also business commitments. He’ll explain the origin and necessity of development and innovation in the raw materials industry as a response to the social and politico-economic challenges of conducting mining in the contemporary environment.

Entrance free.

Thursday, 16. February 2017, 7.30 pm

Perspectives of the collections at TU Bergakademie Freiberg

Dr. Andreas Benz, TU Bergakademie Freiberg
152. Freiberg Kolloquium, senate hall of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Akademiestraße 6

The ‘Perspectives of the mining collection at TU Bergakademie Freiberg’ exhibition, put together by students at the Institute for Industrial Archaeology and Scientific and Technical History (IWTG) together with the Kustodie (custodians of the university’s cultural assets), is still open to view in the terra mineralia lecture theatre until 19 February.

Starting with the exhibition’s title, Dr Andreas Benz, director of the TU Bergakademie Kustodie since April 2016, will present the Bergakademie’s diverse collections from the point of view of a recent arrival to Freiberg. The focus of this introductory historical outline will be the changing significance of the items, some of which are more than 250 years old. Continuities will at the same time be highlighted. Following on from this, attendees will receive insights into the Kustodie’s current work, including a discussion of future potential uses. What is the relevance of university collections in general in the 21st century? And what are the specific prospects for the TU Bergakademie Freiberg’s collections?

Thursday, 23. March 2017, 7.30 pm

The geological service Saxony as a "treasure hunter" for infrastructure planning

Dipl.- Ing. Sabine Kulikov, Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology
153. Freiberg Kolloquium, senate hall of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Akademiestraße 6

What does Saxony need a Regional Geological Service for? What have geologists got to do with infrastructure planning? Can geologists dig up any other treasures apart from ore, precious metals, and gems? Providing answers to these questions is the aim of this lecture, along with an insight into the day-to-day ‘treasure hunt’, ‘treasure care’ and ‘treasure collection’ of the Geology Department of the Regional Office for the Environment, Farming and Geology. Using specific examples of infrastructure projects either already implemented or currently in the planning stages (eg. transport construction works, retention basins, utility lines and refuse disposal facilities), the results of this ‘treasure hunt’ will be specifically examined and made tangible and comprehensible in detail. And something quite unexpected is also sure to become clear through these examples – earth scientists today are solo practitioners no longer, but ‘networkers’. In more ways than one. Prepare to be surprised.

Thursday, 20. April 2017, 7.30 pm

Rare earth elements and a murder at terra mineralia

Laura Charlene Hall B.Sc., M.A., terra mineralia
Curator of ‘CSI Freiberg. A murder mystery at terra mineralia’ special exhibition
154. Freiberg Kolloquium, senate hall of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Akademiestraße 6

The rare earth elements – 17 elements that make our cellphones smaller, our computers faster, and our energy greener – are one of the most important topics in high-technology research. Unfortunately, they are rarely found in beautiful crystal formations or in easily mined deposits. Though the rare elements are found all over the world, the biggest miner and producer of rare earth elements for the last 30 years has been China. China’s dominance in the rare earth elements market has led to a lack of industry in the rest of the world.

Through the exhibit “CSI Freiberg. Ein Mordfall in der terra mineralia”, funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, we present the rare earth elements in a hands-on, interactive way. Through the murder of a fictitious professor, Kathrin Berg, who herself was an expert on the rare earth elements, visitors are taught the aspects of rare earth element production, including mining, preparation, environmental concerns, political concerns, and how we use them in every aspect of our modern daily lives.

Laura C Hall, who has worked in all aspects of mining as well as for several museums in the USA, will present the genesis, background information, and construction of terra mineralia's “CSI Freiberg. Ein Mordfall in der terra mineralia.”

Thursday, 18. May 2017, 7.30 pm

Prospecting for raw materials from the air in the Ore Mountains

Dr. Richard Gloaguen, Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology
155. Freiberg Kolloquium, senate hall of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Akademiestraße 6

On 18 May on the occasion of the 155th Freiberg Colloquium in the TU Bergakademie Freiberg Senatssaal (Akademiestraße 6), Dr Richard Gloaguen of the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology will be reporting on new and efficient technologies for mineral and metalliferous resource exploration in Saxony.

In Germany, and indeed across the globe, the challenges to tapping new deposits of raw materials are constantly growing. The falling metal content of existing crude ores is also making their exploitation even more difficult. In order to secure the resource base, any hidden potential must be identified. As head of the Division of Exploration, Dr Gloaguen is convinced that exploration that is ethical, environmentally responsible, and which gains wide acceptance is both necessary and possible.

In view of this, the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF), part of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, is working on new methods of resource exploration. Thanks to modern technologies, HIF researchers are able to precisely identify the composition of near-surface resources and deposits by using minerals’ infrared spectral properties. These properties can be captured with special cameras from various distances. Scientists obtain this data from aircraft and satellites, but also from their own research drones. Dr Gloaguen and his team are one of the few groups worldwide conducting research into so-called drone-based hyperspectral analysis for resource exploration. Using these new technologies, we will in future be able to produce three-dimensional mineralogical maps quickly, precisely and in a way that protects the environment.

Thursday, 29. June 2017, 7.30 pm

The Geoscientific Collections of Abraham Gottlob Werner

Prof. Gerhard Heide, Professor of Theoretical and Applied Mineralogy, Director of the Geoscientific Collections and Scientific Director at terra mineralia, TU Bergakademie Freiberg

156. Freiberg Kolloquium, senate hall of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Akademiestr. 6, free entrance.

The mineralogist Abraham Gottlob Werner (1749–1817) in a portrait by Christian Leberecht Vogel. Photo: wikipedia.

When Werner’s nine geoscientific collections were assessed in 1814, they were valued at 55,864 thalers and 8 groschen. Compared with last April’s spectacular find of around 300 thalers in Saxon Switzerland, Werner’s collections are inconceivably valuable. What is the value and significance of these collections today? What is our responsibility with respect to material cultural artefacts? How can we do justice to this in our modern era of digitisation? There’s no doubt that these questions can only be answered if we analyse and reappraise these objects and collections, together with their history, from the perspective of today. The surprising thing is that of the many hundreds of publications on Werner, only a handful have engaged with the collections’ contents and the collections themselves. The recently completed DFG project threw up a wealth of new discoveries.

Thursday, 28. September 2017, 7.30 pm

Saxon raw materials data – treasures for business and science: results of the ROHSA 3 project

Dipl.-Geol. Katrin Kleeberg, (SOBA, LfULG - Saxon Mining Office/Regional Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology)
157. Freiberg Kolloquium, terra mineralia lecture room, Freudenstein Castle

Saxony is rich in mineral resources. In previous centuries, the mining of precious metals was the primary basis of the region’s wealth. Experiences gathered over generations, together with extensive knowledge and multifaceted research into natural resources and their extraction can be found in countless documents and maps, datasets and scientific studies. And this is sought-after information. The neue Berggeschrey (‘new mining fever’) means that interest in data and information on Saxon ores and spars is growing rapidly among global mining businesses. This was the key driver behind the ROHSA 3 (Rohstoffdaten Sachsens) project on Saxon natural resource data. But where is this sought-after information ‘hiding’, and how can it be made accessible? Are the ‘old’ reports, drill holes and studies really all that valuable? Based on the findings of our project, the lecture will show that Saxon natural resource data really are treasures waiting to be unearthed.

Thursday, 26. October 2017, 7.30 pm

Arno Hermann Müller and palaeontology in the GDR

Prof. J.W. Schneider, Dr. H. Walter, Freiberg
158. Freiberg Kolloquium, terra mineralia lecture room, Freudenstein Castle

Last year was the 100th birthday anniversary of the internationally renowned palaeontologist Arno Hermann Müller. His three-volume, seven-part ‘Textbook of Palaeozoology’was used to train palaeontologists throughout all of Europe for half a century. His school and graduates are active across the globe in the classical ‘theory and praxis’ Freiberg tradition. This lecture, delivered by two of Müller’s former students, Jörg W. Schneider and Harald Walter, both celebrates the scientist’s work as well as providing an outlook of future developments in the field.

The two speakers, Dr. Walter and Prof. Schneider, on a field-trip, 1991.

Thursday, 30. November 2017, 7.30 pm

Restoration with limestone/marble using the example of Freiberg Cathedral

Prof. Heiner Siedel, TU Dresden
159. Freiberg Kolloquium, terra mineralia lecture room, Freudenstein Castle

Marble is perhaps the finest of all natural stones and is frequently used in buildings for decorative effect. In the architectural context, the term ‘marble’ applies not only to genuine carbonate metamorphic rocks (metamorphites) but also to various kinds of sedimentary limestone, generally coloured and containing fossils, that are able to be polished. From early on, these kinds of rocks had been mined by residents of the Saxon region to produce quicklime. Nevertheless, before the last quarter of the 16th century there were few people using these rocks for decorative purposes. It was not until local deposits were explored in a targeted manner from 1575 under Giovanni Maria Nosseni – and the techniques of cutting, grinding and polishing were also established in Saxony under his direction – that these kinds of uses really grew in popularity. Thereafter, craftsmen kept using these techniques to decorate buildings both sacred and profane in Saxony and beyond right into the 19th century.                                      

The lecture will provide an overview of the kinds of rocks and deposits used and of the historical development of their use, with examples to illustrate. The speaker is Prof. Heiner Siedel, Professor of Applied Geology at the TU Dresden Institute of Geotechnical Engineering (part of the Faculty of Civil Engineering). For more than 25 years, he’s been teaching on and researching the architectural use of natural stone and its weathering and conservation/restoration on monuments, in Saxony first and foremost.

Photo: freiberger-dom.de