Brown coal opencast mining discussion
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Brown coal opencast mining
near Spremberg (Brandenburg), Germany
haha im not sure about brown shirts though! it seems odd to me that they have large scale mining of brown coal, because it is lower quality than black coal. im from new zealand, and we just ignore brown coal when it comes to mining, so is good quality coal hard to find in europe or what? would be very interested to hear about it.
In deed there three regions in Germany with brown coal mines (two in eastern Germany) and three regions with hard coal. In the former GDR brown coal was one of the major energy sources (e.g. heating). The area in western Germany is between Cologne and Aachen (easy to find with GE). Germany is the biggest brown coal provider of the world. For those opencast mines whole villages had to be moved. After finishing those giant holes they renatured this area and they became biotopes with a lot of rar creatures.
The hard coal in Germany is pretty good quality, but due to high safety level to protect the mineworkers, German coal is very expensive in comparision to the world market. Another problem is the depth you can find coal in Germany. The more you come to the north the deeper you have to dig. The mine I've work at was at the northern border of the Ruhr area and we were deeper then 1.000 m. The biggest of the three hard coal areas is the Ruhr area between Duisburg and Hamm. For many years coal mines and steel factories have designed this area, big companies were founded (e.g. Krupp Stahl in Essen). But in the last 10 year or so many mines have died, just a few are left. The other two areas (Saar region and city of Ibbenbueren) are like small spots, not much coal there but very good quality. In Ibbenbueren e.g. is the anthracite, a sort of coal you need to make good steel.
So a little excursus in coal mining in Germany
This was a useful lesson even to a member from your northern neighbour in Denmark, which among others is a heavy coalconsuming country although not of German origin.
Glad to be of service....