Sustainable In-Situ Resource Estimation and Environmental Remediation Mining Areas of Saxony

Time span

From 01.04.2021 to 31.03.2024



Project type

Environmental Remediation and Secondary Mining of Tailings

Tailings often pose an environmental hazard but at the same time represent a source for elements of value that in the past either could not be extracted efficiently enough or were not demanded by the industry. At the tailing „Ehrenfriedersdorf“, the NIRUBIS project utilizes novel tools and analytical methods for evaluating the resources of raw materials and the potential of contaminants. The data acquisition is based on in-situ tools and real time data processing. A hydraulically advanced probe (Metal Probing Tool = MPT) allows for continuous screening of element concentrations by using x-ray fluorescence. Other probes and methods measure hydraulical and geotechnical parameters within the tailing material.

The identified element concentrations will be linked to comprehensive particle based and mineralogical data transferred to a 3D model and processed further geostatistically considering differentiated sedimentary bodies.

In a further step, the bioleaching potential of valuable metals and contaminants will be evaluated and quantified by using sample material. The project will develop the new combination of approaches and methods for providing a database for secondary mining and contaminant recovery / containment from mine tailings.

The NIRUBIS project contributes to a deep understanding of tailing bodies and builds the economic basis for feasibility studies of in-situ recovery of valuable elements. The overriding target is the transferability and scalability of the methodology to other locations in the region and worldwide.

Project update: Field measurement campaign on the Tailing 1 of the ZEE in Ehrenfriedersdorf from 05.-15.09.2022

In the period from 05.09. to 15.09.2022 Geccotec GmbH carried out soundings on the flushing dump 1 of the ZEE in Ehrenfriedersdorf with the MPT probe, which was newly developed within the project NIRUBIS. The MPT probe is coupled to a CPT tip and uses X-ray fluorescence to measure concentrations of metals and elements in situ and in real time. The CPT probe additionally provides geotechnical data to characterize the stockpile material. The campaign was very successful, with 40 soundings completed with a total of approximately 455 sounding meters. Tin and arsenic were measured within the tailings in varying and locally strongly differing concentrations. To calibrate the data, depth-differentiated liner samples were taken at relevant locations on the basis of the measurement results. These samples were analyzed for their metal content by the project partner ERZLABOR Advanced Solutions GmbH. After fine calibration of the measurement data, a statistically based calculation of the tin and arsenic contents is carried out by the project partner GLU. Read more.


Geccotec Ltd.

Axel Oppermann

+49 (0) 172 5424573

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