Past Lectures 2018

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, 25 January 2018, 7.30 pm

Life in the Endless Ice – A Wintering Report

Dr Sissy Kütter, geophysicist, Gotha
160th Freiberg Colloquium, venue: Lecture hall terra mineralia, Freudenstein Castle

Every year just before Christmas, nine new technicians and scientists set out for Neumayer-Station III in Antarctica to relieve their predecessors and look after the station for the coming winter. Over the Antarctic summer from the end of November to the middle of February, the Neumayer-Station, at this stage housing around 50 scientists and technicians, is a hive of activity and the base for numerous projects. Then, when the last aeroplanes have set off on their journeys towards the warm north by the end of February, things get calmer but by no means less exciting. It’s at this point that the stormy season starts, the days get shorter, the temperature falls from a summery -5 to as low as -50°C, and all around the shelf ice several hundred metres thick the sea ice begins to extend. The polar night, during which the sun ceases to rise above the horizon at NMIII for more than 50 days, is also the time of starlit skies, polar lights and the breeding season for Emperor Penguins. Living and working in this setting is a unique experience and forms the subject of this lecture.

Thursday, 1 March 2018, 7.30 pm

291-Million-Year-old Ground: Habitat and Climate Record of
the Chemnitz Fossil Deposits

Prof. Ronny Rößler, Museum für Naturkunde, Chemnitz
161st Freiberg Colloquium, venue: Lecture hall terra mineralia, Freudenstein Castle

The petrified forest of Chemnitz is also called the "Pompeii of the Permian". 291 million years ago, a very explosive volcanic eruption took place there. Under the ember ash cloud not only a spectacular fossil deposit has been preserved, but an entire ecosystem of plants and animals and their interactions has been conserved on the spot. Spectacular finds tell about the life and death of a tropical oasis, about the destructive power and conservation of volcanic activity. A paleo-ground of the ancient forest ecosystem plays a key role in the analysis and research of the fossil deposit. In a cave a few centimeters below the earth's surface in the tree root network even impressions of scorpions were found. In one case, a male and a female specimen in close spatial relationship. The coronation of indiscretion is shown in the lecture.

The speaker is director of the Museum of Natural History in Chemnitz, Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Ronny Rößler. Prof. Rößler is Visiting Professor of Paleobotany at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg.

Reconstruction of the habitat with a prehistoric scorpion © Dr. Frederik Spindler, Freiberg

Thursday, 22 March 2018, 7.30 pm

Pre-Cenozoic Indications of Mineralisation in the Bitterfeld-Delitzsch Region and Their Relation to Magmatic Activities

Dr Bodo-Carlo Ehling, Director of Saxony-Anhalt Geological Service Department
162nd Freiberg Colloquium, venue: Lecture hall terra mineralia, Freudenstein Castle

In the north-west of Saxony, close to the border with Saxony-Anhalt, beneath approximately 100m of thick unconsolidated rock, including clay, sand and lignite, lies one of the most geologically spectacular regions of Central Europe. The geology of the region, which is only known from boreholes, is made even more difficult to understand due to a range of faults with displacements of several hundred metres. Earthquakes still occur in the Vogtland today, due to the ongoing southward movement of the large-scale tectonic structure. During various epochs of geological history, tectonic and magmatic events occurred here, leading to the formation of a wide range of signs of mineralisation. The youngest geological magmatism is of particular significance. Here, a very rare form of intensive volcanism occurred, roughly 70 million years ago. The rock consists of carbonate, and not the usual silicate. Across the globe, as it is here, rare earth element enrichment can be observed in this “carbonatite” rock. Geology doesn’t end at state borders, so the regional authorities in Saxony Anhalt and Saxony have launched a research project that focuses on the region, in the form of various activities. Dr Bodo-Carlo Ehling’s lecture will draw your attention to the significant potential of the deposits of the Delitzsch region.

The SES 1/2012 borehole Storkwitz, bored through the rare earth-bearing carbonatite breccia body.

Thursday, 26 April 2018, 7.30 pm

The Electric Impulse Process: Development Journey of a new Drilling System

Franziska Lehmann (Engineering, TU BAF), Erik Anders (Engineering, TU Dresden)
163rd Freiberg Colloquium, venue: Lecture hall terra mineralia, Freudenstein Castle

If you took a walk through the TU Bergakademie Freiberg campus between mid-August and mid-October of last year, you might have come across a roughly 12m-high drilling tower near Gustav-Zeuner-Straße. What was that all about? A Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)-sponsored partnership between the Institute of Drilling Engineering and Fluid Mining (TU Bergakademie Freiberg), the Institute of Fluid Power (TU Dresden), the Institute of High Voltage Engineering (TU Dresden) and partners from the industry is developing a new drilling process for the pulverisation of hard rock. The new technique is based on the so-called electro-impulse process (EIP). Within one second, around 25 bolts at a voltage of 500,000 volts are generated. They “blast” the rock at the base of the borehole. Since this process, unlike conventional boring methods, is non-contact and works without any moving parts at the head of the drill, there is no need for the constant, expensive removal and reinsertion of the drill pipe – which is usually several kilometres long – to change blunt drill bits. Just the lower cost of drilling enabled by this process –a fraction of what it was before – means that this process offers enormous potential in the field of deep geothermal energy. Until now, high costs hindered it from making a widespread breakthrough into the energy market. With the new drilling process, costs for deep geothermal drilling in hard rock – as is found in the Erzgebirge in Saxony for example – are expected to drop to the point where utilising geothermal energy to produce environment-friendly heating and electricity will become economical. This could signify a major step forward in the transition towards sustainable energy.

The test drilling in autumn last year was the climax of 10 years of research work. Find out more about the development of this innovative drilling process and trace the history of an idea from a laboratory-based feasibility study, through the development of a new drill head, to the in-situ trial of the electro impulse drilling system at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg campus test site.

Thursday, 31 May 2018, 7.30 pm

‘… for there was nothing to see but suffering …’ –
Shaft Collapse at the Neue Fundgrube in Lugau, 1867:
Causes and Effects of one of Germany’s Worst Mining Disasters

Heino Neuber, Oelsnitz Mining Museum
164th Freiberg Colloquium, venue: Lecture hall terra mineralia, Freudenstein Castle

"The first of July, 1867, promised to be a beautiful day. The sun had come up in the cloudless sky, the dew-fields of the meadows were twinkling in their golden glow, the seed-fields were swaying. Soon it was alive in the corridors, because from all sides came the miners in the area to shift. Did the Creator want to show nature once more in fullest glory to those who were to journey for the last time? "

For 101 miners of the "New Treasure Trove" of the Zwickau-Lugauer Coal Mining Association, the site of their heavy and dangerous work on that day meant a deadly trap. A shaft fracture sealed the only day's exit of the mine in Lugau, western Saxony. Rescue attempts were unsuccessful. 45 women with 137 children lost the man, the father - the breadwinner.

This mine catastrophe, one of the heaviest in Germany, had a hitherto unknown dimension in terms of the potential dangers of coal mining and the resulting human suffering. In no time, the nascent Lugau-Oelsnitzer district gained national attention. Saxony's hard-coal mining industry, which was emerging in the course of industrialization, became a focal point of legal, political and economic, as well as collective and social issues.

At the same time, the documentation produced using a variety of source material, which has just been preserved in the holdings of the Bergarchiv Freiberg, illustrates the importance that it holds within the mining industry as well as directly with regard to occupational safety and legal protection of the workers.

Based on a snapshot of the events of the summer of 1867, the lecture between individual destiny and the mass movement traces those developments that represented a significant step in the transformation of working and living conditions on the way to modern industrial society.

Thursday, 21 June 2018, 7.30 pm

‘Cornwall – a European Mining Region Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’

Benedikt Steiner MSc, Programme Director and Lecturer in Exploration & Mining Geology,
Camborne School of Mines,
A lecture as part of the MIREU project – Mining and Metallurgy Regions of EU
165th Freiberg Colloquium, venue: Lecture hall terra mineralia, Freudenstein Castle

Mining has shaped the landscape and history of southwest England since the Bronze Age. In addition to tin, the region has been developed specifically for the extraction of a very diverse range of metals, including tungsten, arsenic, gold, bismuth and industrial minerals, such as kaolin. Cornwall was the largest copper and arsenic producer in the 19th century. The decline is closely related to the price development of tin and copper. But also the resumption of mining activities. Since 2015, permits have been granted for a number of mining operations (Hemerdon, South Crofty) as well as for regional exploration activities in Cornwall (Cornish Lithium, Cornwall Resources). As in Saxony, the understanding of regional geology, the promotion of indigenous resources and our commitment to mining is the key to reviving the extraction and processing of raw materials with their socio-economic value added. The geological research in southwest England spans over 250 years and has been enhanced mainly by data from its long mining history. The Camborne School of Mines, the presenter's employer, is instrumental in educating mining professionals in the United Kingdom and contributing to research and education on mining-related issues, from exploration to mine closure.

The lecture will take place as part of the EU HORIZON 2020 project "MIREU - Network of Mining and Metallurgy Regions in the EU", in which the Freiberg Geocompetence Center and the Camborne School of Mines are partners. Goal is u.a. specifically to link Saxony and Cornwall with each other. The view of our neighbor in the framework of the Freiberger colloquium is a building block!

Thursday, 20 September 2018, 7.30 pm

Innovation in Mining

Dr. Marco Roscher, SAXORE Bergbau GmbH
166th Freiberg Colloquium, venue: Senate hall of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Akademiestraße 6.

Mining has been and continues to be the source of technical and social innovation. The pursuit of returns and the reduction of loss risk were and are key reasons for putting innovative ideas into practice. The challenges of development, extraction and treatment have always called for mining operators to develop and deploy cost-effective and innovative processes and technologies. Many of these innovations have been used in applications that go far beyond mining. Such as the rail, the steam power and the electric drive of locomotives or the wire rope, just to name a few. Research and development continue to play a major role in mining today, albeit with an increasing emphasis: for example, government regulations on resource efficiency and environmental protection require tremendous efforts from the company to develop a mining project. Today, innovation is increasingly the key to planning and building a mine at all. You are no longer solely owed the increase in profit or security. The lecture of SAXORE Bergbau GmbH, which opens up the Sn-In-Zn-Tellerhäuser deposit near Pöhla and plans a mine there, shows by way of example which efforts have to be made here. A journey through the history of mining also sheds light on highlights of innovative ideas in the mining industry, which have become commonplace elsewhere.

The lecture will be part of the EU-funded project "FAME - Flexible and Mobile Economic Processing Technologies". Involved in a multinational consortium, Saxon partners are also researching new ways of treating poor ores. Reference:

The world's first electric mine locomotive from Siemens and Halske was presented in 1881 at the International Electricity Exhibition in Paris.

Thursday, 18 October 2018, 7.30 pm

10 years of terra mineralia – How it all began
On the genesis of the terra mineralia exhibition

Andreas Massanek (graduate mineralogist), Curator at terra mineralia,
Managing Director, TU Bergakademie Freiberg Geoscientific Collections
167th Freiberg Colloquium, venue: Senate hall of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Akademiestraße 6.

In October 2008, the terra mineralia exhibition opened its doors in the newly renovated and rebuilt Freudenstein Castle in Freiberg. Almost one million visitors have meanwhile been able to embark on a mineralogical trip around the world, marveling at 3,500 minerals, gems and meteorites. These wonderful exhibits come from the collection of the Swiss Dr. Ing. Erika Pohl-Ströher, who gave these objects as a permanent loan to the TU Bergakademie Freiberg.

But why was Freiberg selected? Why did we choose to house the collection for the dilapidated Schloss Freudenstein? How did the objects come here? Who were the architects and exhibition planners? How did the exhibition concept come about? What compromises had to be made?

These questions will be given to Dipl.-Min. Andreas Massanek, who accompanied this project from the beginning. The audience will be able to accompany him on an adventurous journey to southeastern China, which was necessary to implement the exhibition concept.

Mr. Massanek is responsible for the Mineralogical Collections of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and is managing director of the Geoscientific Collections.

Thursday, 22 November 2018, 7.30 pm

The Zinnwald Lithium Project

Prof. Armin Müller, Managing Director, Deutsche Lithium GmbH
168th Freiberg Colloquium, venue: Senate hall of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Akademiestraße 6.

The cross-border deposit in Zinnwald / Cinovec is one of the largest lithium deposits in Europe. Since 2011, Deutsche Lithium GmbH Freiberg (formerly: Solarworld Solicium GmbH) has been exploring the German part of the deposit. The geological explorations included u. a. 23 holes up to 400 m depth. In October 2017, the Saxon Oberbergamt granted the company mining authorization to obtain the lithium-mica-gray body. The Greisen bodies contain about 20% lithium mica (also called tin forestite). The tin forestite contains about 1.6% lithium. In October 2018, Deutsche Lithium GmbH produced a new resource report on the deposit, which identified a lithium resource of approximately 125,000 t of lithium. As a result, an economic mining operation for more than 30 years is possible with a planned underground mining of 500,000 t ore per year.

Prof. Dr. Armin Müller, Managing Director of Deutsche Lithium GmbH, presents the current status and the further planned development of the project as part of the Freiberger Colloquium. The event will take place on November 22, 2018, 19.30 h in the Senate Hall of the TU Bergakademie, Akademiestrasse 6 in Freiberg.

Thursday, 20 December 2018, 7.30 pm

„On the rocks – Of ores and silver rush"

Oberberghauptmann Prof. Dr. Bernhard Cramer, Sächsisches Oberbergamt, Freiberg
169th Freiberg Colloquium, venue: Senate hall of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Akademiestraße 6.

The year of the silver rush 2018 on the occasion of the first written mention of the name Freiberg 800 years ago and the first silver find in today's urban area 850 years ago is coming to an end. There will not be a new mining on silver in Freiberg for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, in the Erzgebirge for a further 12 years, a new mining activity is developing on the ore and spade deposits. Since then, around 60 projects have been started by mining and exploration companies in the Free State of Saxony. Thus deposits were examined and evaluated or mines planned and ascended. Many of these projects have since been terminated for economic reasons, others are driven forward with great commitment.

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Cramer, Oberberghauptmann of the Saxon Oberbergamt, presents the current status of this "New Berggeschrey" at the Freiberger Colloquium.From the point of view of the mining authority, he also examines the framework conditions for mining companies in Germany and gives an outlook on the further development of ore mining. On a current occasion, Prof. Dr. Cramer also informs on the status of some old mining projects of the Oberbergamt in the city area of Freiberg.