Tailings and Mine Waste Conference

Final covering and diversion of runoff from Wismut’s uranium tailings ponds at Seelingstädt (Germany) : status achieved from concepts to realization Barnekow, Ulf; Roscher, Marcel; Merkel, Gunter


From 1960 to 1990 the former Soviet-German Wismut company milled uranium ore and processed a total of about 110,000 t of uranium at the Seelingstädt mill in Thuringia, Germany. In total about 104 million m³ of mill tailings were disposed into tailings ponds Trünzig and Culmitzsch. Since 1990 both tailings ponds have been dry-decommissioned in situ. The Trünzig tailings pond is being final covered and vegetated while the Culmitzsch tailings pond is currently being interim covered and re-contoured. In 2010 Wismut filed an application for a planning approval under water law for connecting the surface runoff from the Trünzig tailings pond to the receiving streams. In addition Wismut prepared a conceptual design for implementing the runoff from the Culmitzsch tailings pond into the regional catchment area. The paper presents the actual remediation status achieved for final covering, vegetation and runoff diversion from concepts to realization and provides an outlook to future permitting procedures and remediation at the sites foreseen to be completed by 2022. [All papers were considered for technical and language appropriateness by the organizing committee.]

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