Out of the Depths
Saxony has been a mining area for 850 years. Technological and organizational innovations originate from Saxon mining, which spread throughout the world. Silver and non-ferrous metal ores are the most important sources of revenue for a long time. This changed with the gradual depletion of the ore deposites. Since 1830, the development of hard coal deposits near Zwickau, Lugau and Oelsnitz/Erzgebirge secures the progress of Saxony’s industrialisation. Later, lignite coal becomes the most important source of energy. The Soviet Wismut AG started mining uranium ore in 1946. The company became the largest uranium producer in the
World and caused dramatic economican decological burdens. Hard coal mining ended in 1978, uranium mining in 1991. A great effort is made after 1990 to remediate former mining areas. The increasing demand worldwide for rare earths, ores and spars may open new horizons even for the Erzgebirge mountains.