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On Friday (16.6.2023), the new hoisting machine and shaft signalling system from the TU Bergakademie Freiberg was put into operation at the Reiche Zeche research and training mine. "With this, the second construction project after the reconstruction of the winding tower as part of the renovation of the research and teaching mine has been completed, except for a few remaining individual services, and state-of-the-art travel is finally possible again," said University Chancellor Jens Then at the commissioning. The current measures to renovate the hoisting machine and shaft signalling system were financed by the Free State of Saxony to the tune of around 2.4 million euros. The university is now planning the next construction measures at the mine: "The shaft installations are now being modernised to allow access to the bottom of the Rothschönberg adit at a depth of 228m with a new, larger pit cage. This will significantly expand the research possibilities in the mine but also optimise maintenance and accessibility to infrastructure facilities."

Blick in die neue Fördermaschine.

Investment in research and visitor operations at the Reiche Zeche

In addition to the research and teaching operations, the Reiche Zeche also includes the tourist use of the mine, which is run by the Himmelfahrt Fundgrube development association. The construction measures also resulted in restrictions for visitor operations. "Thanks to the renovations that have been carried out, nothing now stands in the way of resuming visitor operations," says Chancellor Then. The operating staff has also been trained in the past months to the current state of the art. The University and the Friends of the University are planning together exactly when visitor operations will resume.

Modernisation expected to be completed by 2030

In addition to the modernisation of the entire shaft hoisting system, the comprehensive refurbishment project includes further measures, for example, to improve the ventilation system, modernise the track systems, mine extensions and the infrastructure. Based on a contractual agreement between the Sächsisches Immobilien- und Baumanagement state enterprise and the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, the university can implement the planned construction measures on its own. The renovation work is being financed by the Free State of Saxony.

The TU Bergakademie Freiberg's research and teaching mine 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 for use in impassable terrain are tested there, or the use of bacteria for the extraction of high-tech metals in underground laboratories is researched.