Reiche Zeche, Germany

Name of the facility, web page, ownership and contact person

Research and Education Mine “Reiche Zeche”

Freistaat Sachen, University of Technology Bergakademie Freiberg
Contact Person: Professor Dr. Helmut Mischo

Geographical location, size and depth of the facility

50° 92’ 85.8” North / 13° 35’ 73.3” East
FLB “Reiche Zeche” is located on the edge of the Erzgebirge in the municipality of Freiberg. Freiberg is situated in the centre of Saxony between Dresden and Chemnitz, and close to the Czech border with around 40km to each side. The expansion of Reiche Zeche mine includes drifts of 129km, of which are 19km safely accessible and frequently in use. The mine is accessible up to a level of 230m, the water level of Rothschönberger Stolln. The level of up to 750m is flooded. The access to the mine is realised by two shafts.

Major rock type(s)

Freiberg deposit is a lead-zinc deposit. In carboniferous to permian and late jurassic to tertiary periods ore veins have been created within the already existing gneiss in connection with the variscan and alpine orogeny.
The main minerals to be found are Galena, Sphalerite, Pyrite, Chalcopyrite, Arsenopyrite and Quartz.

The original purpose, current use and future plans

The mine “Himmelfahrt Fundgrube” was founded as a consortium of multiple individual shafts in 1839 to enhance the production of silver in Freiberg. It was first closed in 1913 and handed over to Bergakademie Freiberg in 1919 for teaching purposes. In 1937 the mine was reactivated and once again in operation until 1969. Finally, in 1976 the shafts “Reiche Zeche” and “Alte Elisabeth” were handed over back to the University for research and teaching purposes. Today multiple research institutions and partners from industry use the mine as a fundament for the development of new technology, production methods, new materials or to gain reference materials for their databases. In addition, multiple Universities make use of the mine in order to train their students practically in mining and surveying operations. It is intended to develop the mine to a European platform for enhancing mining techniques and education. For this, it is planned to create new access (ramp) and to develop new fields, rooms and drifts.


Freiberg can be reached from

  • Dresden Airport within 45 minutes by car (50 km) or 1 hour by train via Dresden Central Station
  • Prague Airport (Czech Republic) within 2 hours by car (140 km) or 4 hours by train via Dresden Central Station

Overall data availability

The data of research activities are collected, processed and stored by the performing partners individually. It is possible to provide contact information to these partners. Some general data on the mine are available as textbook or paper.

Specialised knowledge, services

Specialised knowledge, laboratories and workshops are available in all mining and raw material related fields at the individual departments of the university. The mine management is capable of establishing underground laboratories, workshops and office spaces for long-term projects.