Investment in the future: the headframe of the research and teaching mine is being renovated
The research and teaching mine of TU Bergakademie Freiberg is a sought-after partner in science and industry both nationally and internationally. It offers unique research and training opportunities underground. For example, robot and sensor systems are being tested there for use in rough terrain or the use of bacteria for the extraction of high-tech metals in underground laboratories is being researched. “With the renovation that is now beginning, we are equipping the mine for the future tasks of the university in the raw materials and resources area. The first milestone on this path is the renovation of the headframe this year,” explains Jens Then, the incumbent Chancellor of TU Bergakademie Freiberg. The necessary preparatory and dismantling work for the 7-month construction phase on the headframe is already in full swing. The dismantling is expected to take place at the beginning of May. The striking structure should then be visible again by the end of summer.
Further renovation steps in planning
The renovation of the headframe marks the beginning of a large number of further construction measures that will extend over the next few years. This also includes the modernization of the entire shaft hoisting system as well as measures to improve the underground ventilation control and the infrastructure. "In addition to the long-term technical safeguarding of the mine at the Reiche Zeche, the aim is also to sustainably strengthen the modern research facilities and the associated visitor operations," explains Professor Helmut Mischo, Scientific Director of the Research and Training Mine of TU Bergakademie Freiberg. The renovation work is being financed by the Free State of Saxony. Based on a contractual agreement between the Staatsbetrieb Sächsisches Immobilien- und Baumanagement and TU Bergakademie Freiberg, the university can implement the planned construction measures on its own.
Visitor operations will be shut down
In addition to the research and teaching operations, the Reiche Zeche also includes tourist use, which is managed by the Förderverein Himmelfahrt Fundgrube. The construction work also results in restrictions for visitor operations. The development association is currently examining alternative offers such as surface tours. After the renovation (expected at the end of 2021), visitors can again use the comprehensive range of guided tours, which also include the two tours newly designed for the Saxon State Exhibition (discovery and research tour). Due to the corona pandemic, this had to be ended prematurely in November 2020
Landmark of the city of Freiberg and part of UNESCO World Heritage
The headframe and the associated hoisting machine of the research and teaching mine “Reiche Zeche” are significant technical monuments that have been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Erzgebirge / Krušnohoří Mining Region since 2019. The components date from the 1940s and -50s. The headframe counts as a striking, widely visible structure as the landmark of the university town of Freiberg.