International news within the industry of mining and metal, May, 22 2019
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Germany is closing coal mines

Luisenthal Mine, a coal mine in the Völklingen area, Germany. Photo: Wikimedia, credit: LoKiLeCh
Luisenthal Mine, a coal mine in the Völklingen area, Germany. Photo: Wikimedia, credit: LoKiLeCh
Published by
Markku Björkman - 08 Oct 2018

This year, Germany closes down all coal outbreaks. Afterwards, coal mining leaves great challenges for future generations. Mining has caused landslides and water has to be pumped away forever so as not to allow large areas to be placed under water.

The reason for the downturn is the coal outbreak. The coal has been broken far below ground, but in so large amounts and over so long that it caused land cuts across large areas.

"The landslide can be up to 30 meters," said Carsten Maibaum, Operations Engineer at Emschergenossenschaft, a publicly-owned company responsible for everything that has to do with water in a large part of the Ruhrområdet.

This means that the small Boye River has to be pumped sixteen meters up and down in a dedicated channel to continue its journey towards the sea. Otherwise, all water would gather like in a bathtub, says Carsten Maibaum.

It is called researcher for eternal tasks because the water must be pumped in all future, so as not to lay large parts of the Ruhr area under water.

But the biggest problem that the coal mill breaks behind is that the old abandoned coal mines are slowly filled with water.

Different chemical reactions that occur then cause the water to become highly saline and thus not come into contact with the groundwater flows where five million people get their drinking water. So even here, large amounts of water must be pumped every year.

Much of the research on water issues has just begun, according to Stefan Möllerherm, the researcher at a worldwide research centre in Bochum, here in the Ruhr area, focusing on environmental problems after mining ceased.

Source: Swedish Radio
 

Cobalt mine in Democratic Republic Congo. About half of all mined cobalt comes from DRC, mainly from the province of Katanga. The mining takes place close to towns and villages. Local communities regularly are cut off from their farmland and water sources near mines, without having had a say in the matter. There are several examples of forced relocations of entire villages. Inhabitants of the village Kishiba, for example, were forced to move to make way for Frontier, a cobalt and copper mine. Their new homes in Kimfumpa lack the most basic of services such as clean water, fertile farmland, schools and health care. Photo: ECCJ Secretariat
Cobalt mine in Democratic Republic Congo. About half of all mined cobalt comes from DRC, mainly from the province of Katanga. The mining takes place close to towns and villages. Local communities regularly are cut off from their farmland and water sources near mines, without having had a say in the matter. There are several examples of forced relocations of entire villages. Inhabitants of the village Kishiba, for example, were forced to move to make way for Frontier, a cobalt and copper mine. Their new homes in Kimfumpa lack the most basic of services such as clean water, fertile farmland, schools and health care. Photo: ECCJ Secretariat

Chinese control half of the Congo's cobalt