Mine heaps are heaps from mining , especially from hard coal mining . These man-made mountains shape the landscape in the coal mining areas, especially in the Ruhr area , the Aachen area and the Saar area . The word part “ mountains ” is not to be understood here as the plural of mountain in the topographical sense, but is the mining term for “ deaf rock ”.
During the mining of hard coal , inevitably, deaf, i.e. H. non-coal bearing host rock. In the past, attempts were made to keep these so-called mountains out of the field as much as possible; so the mining share of the funding remained low. However, due to the mechanization of coal mining, the amount of mining increased dramatically. The relocation of mining to depths of up to 1500 m further increased the amount of mining , since larger sections of the route with more rock excavation are required to control the rock pressure . In the 1980s it finally reached a peak value of 47–48% of total funding and has remained roughly constant to this day. The breakdown of the use of the tailings has been stable for years: 4% are re-installed as backfill underground. 24% can be used as third-party sales, especially as building material . The remaining 72% are unusable and are piled up. In the course of mining history, z. For example, around 170 heaps were created as artificial hills and mountains, some of which were more than 100 m high, but many of them were removed again due to their unsuitable pouring and design. At the end of the 1990s, Ruhrkohle AG operated 19 large mine dumps.
Formation of the mine dumps
In the early days of hard coal mining , the tailings were brought into the surrounding area as inconspicuously as possible. Slope dumps , which were created when the tailings were thrown onto a slope , are typical of this time . These small heaps are so well integrated into the landscape that they are difficult to see.
The increasing amount of tailings made it necessary to fill as much as possible on as small an area as possible. The so-called pointed cone heaps were created when they were transported on conveyor belts . This first generation of tailings usually consisted of several overlapping cones with an average height of 19 m. Due to their loose fill and the associated unimpeded entry of oxygen , these heaps tended to self-ignite . This led to dump fires at many locations , which could only be extinguished after several months with great effort. Although the burnt-out, red-discolored tailings were used as building material, the environmental hazard from dump fires was so great that by the end of the 1960s the conical dumps in the Ruhr area were almost completely removed.
Example of a mine dump in the Ruhr area: site plan and elevation profile of the Schurenbach dump in Essen.
The problems with smoke development, stability and difficulties with the greening of pointed cone heaps led to a new generation of heaps: terraced table mountains with strict lines and hard contours. The dump height was usually about "twice the tree height", ie about 40 m; however, it was clearly exceeded in some cases. Burning heaps are also known in this form .
Protests from the population and the municipalities against these hard-contoured structures, which were designed on the drawing board and represented disruptive elements in the landscape , led to the guidelines for the construction of mountain heaps being changed in the 1980s. They stipulated that mining dumps should in future be laid out as landscaping structures that take all spatial, structural, ecological , landscape design and safety requirements into account. This third generation of mine dumps is characterized by an area of more than 100 hectares and a height of 50-100 meters. Many of these heaps are developed for tourism.
- Walter Bischoff , Heinz Bramann, Westfälische Berggewerkschaftskasse Bochum: The small mining dictionary. 7th edition, Verlag Glückauf GmbH, Essen 1988, ISBN 3-7739-0501-7 .
- Ernst-Ulrich Reuther: Introduction to mining. 1st edition, Verlag Glückauf GmbH, Essen 1982, ISBN 3-7739-0390-1 .
- Heinz Kundel: coal production. 6th edition, Verlag Glückauf GmbH, Essen 1983, ISBN 3-7739-0389-8 .
- Westphalia regional: Westphalia mining dumps yesterday and today (accessed on March 16, 2015)