Characteristics and Location

The Davidschacht Tailing was in operation from 1951 to 1964. It has an area of approx. 6.3 ha and a volume of approx. 760,000 m3. By processing ores from the Freiberg mining area at Davidschacht, mainly residues from wet chemical flotation and finely ground components of Freiberg gneiss were flushed into the tailing.

The Davidschacht Tailing belongs to the former Davidschacht mining site together with the Hammerberg Tailing, the Grobbergedamm and the Grobbergehalde David-Richtschacht. The Davidschacht Tailing is located in the northeastern peripheral area of Freiberg, directly on the valley slope to the Freiberger Mulde River. Numerous commercial enterprises shape the image of the Davidschacht location (IBUR, 1995b).



The beginning and the end of mining in the Davidschacht

The construction of the Davidschacht began in the early 1820s with the clearing of the old Davidschacht shafts. In the following decades, the shaft was enlarged several times in cross section. The Davidschacht was part of the former ore mine "Himmelfahrt Fundgrube", which was documented since 1715 and was the largest mine in Saxony in the middle of the 19th century. After the local authorities took over the Himmelfahrt Fundgrube in 1886, the conveyor systems were renewed and the location expanded as a result of modernization measures. In 1888, an ore-flushing pond was created. Like all the shafts in the Freiberg Revier, the Davidschacht temporarily closed in 1913 (Fritze, 2000).

In 1936, mining was resumed, primarily for reasons of armament, and a new ore processing facility was built at the Davidschacht. This marked the beginning of the last operating period, which ran from approx. 1937 to 1969 and in which the Davidschacht next to the Reiche Zeche became the main shafts of the Himmelfahrt Fundgrube. The Davidschacht is the deepest vertical shaft in the area of the Himmelfahrt Fundgrube with 736 m (Fritze, 2000). In addition to the cable car, material transport and mining, the shaft also served as ore mining for the entire Freiberg and Brand-Erbisdorf mining area from 1963. During this time, the gigantic heaps, which are still visible from afar, were created. These were poured around the actual pit area, on which the conveyor shaft as well as surface extraction and processing systems were located. These are in particular the Grobbergehalde David-Richtschacht, the Davidschacht Tailing and the Hammerberg Tailing. The rinsing heaps consist of the fine rinsing sands and sludge from the processing facility, while the coarse heaps were dumped from coarse mountains (TU Bergakademie Freiberg, 2016).

The Davidschacht Tailing was essentially in operation from 1951 to 1964. It includes the old sinks of the first tailing, which were created in 1943-44 and operated until they were exhausted in 1951, and the industrial sedimentation system (IAA), the Davidschacht Tailing was developed from (Fritze, 2000).

To seal off the valley, a dam was built on the eastern side of the Davidschacht Tailing, consisting of coarse material from the coarse tailing. The basal part of the western embankment consists of a pioneer dam with coarse rock material, over which a berm of flushing sand was applied every 4 m, so that in the final state three berms with a width of 3 - 4 m were created. Every year around 50,000 m3 to 70,000 m3 treatment sand was washed into the Davidschacht Tailing. In 1969, when Freiberg mining ended, it finally closed (Fritze, 2000).

After the end of mining in Davidschacht

After the end of mining, all mine workings below the Rothschönberger Stolln were flooded in the Freiberg district. The former area with the above-ground facilities and buildings of the Davidschacht was assigned to the newly founded rationalization operation of the VEB mining and smelting combine "Albert Funk" Freiberg as well as the organization and data center (1969 - 1989). The brick chimneys of the Davidschacht Tailing were filled and the remains were blown up. In 1969-70, the tailing was covered with topsoil (Bergarchiv, 1958-1970). Since 1990, numerous exploratory measures and planning services were carried out on the objects at the Davidschacht site. The Davidschacht Tailing is currently unused.

Projects and activities on the Davidschacht Tailing

Projects and activities on the Davidschacht Tailing

Various BMBF research projects are taking place on the Davidschacht Tailing since 2012. Other projects are currently underway or in planning as part of recomine. The following projects are:

  • Project SMSB: "Extraction of strategic metals and minerals from Saxon mining tailings" as part of the funding measure "r³ -Innovative Technologies for Resource Efficiency - Strategic Metals and Minerals", 2012 - 2016, project coordination: Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technolog
  • Project ReMining: "Plant for recovering valuable materials from sulphidic tailings and their environmentally friendly remediation" as part of the funding measure "r + impulse - impulses for industrial resource efficiency", project coordination: GEOS Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH, 2017-2021
  • Project ReMiningPlus:  "Plant for for recovering valuable materials from sulphidic tailings and their environmentally friendly remediation" as part of the funding measure "recomine - resource-oriented environmental technologies for the 21st century", project coordination: GEOS Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH; Continuation of ReMining, est. 2021-2023
  • SULTAN Project“European training network for the remediation and reprocessing of waste deposits in the sulphide mining”, project coordination: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, 2018 - 2022
  • EcoMetals-Project“Innovative environmentally friendly processes for the extraction of strategic and rare metals from primary and secondary resources”, project coordination: Francoise Bodenan (Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières), France, 2013 – 2017

References (in German)

References (in German)

Baumann, L. (2000): Lagerstätten des Erzgebirges., Stuttgart.

Büttner, P.; Gutzmer, J. (2016): Re-Mining – Gewinnung strategischer Metalle und anderer Mineralien aus sächsischen Bergbauhalden. In: Mineralische Nebenprodukte und Abfälle, Band 3, Berlin: TK Verlag Karl J. Thomé-Kozmiensky, 2016, 383-393

Frinz, E.; Jahns, C. (2017): Die Spülhalde Davidschacht in Freiberg – Geschichte, Umweltproblematik und geplante Sanierung.  Freiberg Ecology online, 2, 2017, 4-17

Fritze, C. (2000): Entwicklungskonzept Gewerbegebiet ,,Am Davidschacht'' Freiberg Ebene 3: Altlastenseitige Erfassung.

Klemm, W.; Paul, M.; Jenk, U.; Meyer, J.; Greif, A.; Hartmann, J. (2015): Die Langzeitentwicklung der Belastung von Flutungswässern in Gruben des sächsischen Erzgebirges – Ergebnisse und Schlussfolgerungen. Conference Paper. Conference: Int. Bergbausymposium WISSYM 2015, Bad Schlema, 31.08.-03.09.2015, 87-98

Mollée, R. (2013): Altlastenprojekt SAXONIA 1993 - 2013 eine Retroperspektive., SAXONIA Standortentwicklungs- und -verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH (Hrsg./Verlag), 1. Auflage, Freiberg.

von Seggern, D. (2007): Analyse und Bewertung der Belastung der Freiberger Mulde und der Vereinigten Mulde mit ausgewählten Schwermetallen und Arsen im Zeitraum 2000 bis 2004., Diplom-Arbeit; Universität Leipzig, Fakultät für Physik und Geowissenschaften.

Wagenbreth, O. & Wächtler, E. (1986): Der Freiberger Bergbau. Technische Denkmale und Geschichte., Leipzig.


SAXONIA Site Development and Management Company mbH

Sabine Meißner

+49 3731 39-5026


Objects of investigation

  • Drilling fluid
  • Leachate-/ Mine water





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