BGR Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe

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Remediation sites, spoil heaps and mining damage

Spoil heaps and mineral processing residues often contain large quantities of harmful substances, but sometimes also valuable resources. In favourable circumstances the latter can be extracted. In unfavourable circumstances harmful substances are released into the environment and not broken down there, either biologically or chemically.

A main focus of the work of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources is, therefore, the development and use of geoscientific methods to describe the current condition of spoil heaps from mining and mineral processing, and to monitor them.

Scientists carry out studies on the inventory and on the changes in the materials of spoil heaps. The data obtained are used to make prognoses and models predicting the future development of such sites, thus helping with the assessment of potential dangers and risks. In general, these methods serve for the monitoring of former mining areas and for investigating the ensuing damage and burdens.

The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources also carries out work on methods for investigating sites contaminated by mineral oil and for assessing contamination on troop training areas.


Dr. Dieter Rammlmair
Phone: +49 (0)511-643-2565
Fax: +49 (0)511-643-3664

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