Saxon Raw Material Strategy
The raw material economy –
An opportunity for the Free State of Saxony

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1. Foreword _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ 4
2. Raw materials critical for industry __________________________________________________________________________________ 6
2.2 Developing available raw materials
________________________________________________________________________________ 9
2.1 Raw materials mining in the economic value chain ___________________________________________________________________ 8
3. Federal and EU strategies (European and national framework conditions) ___________________________________________________ 10
4. Raw materials in Saxony
4.1 Local raw materials
4.2 Lignite 12
4.3 Pit & quarry natural resources ___________________________________________________________________________________ 13
4.4 Ore and spar
_________________________________________________________________________________________________ 14
4.5 Secondary raw materials – Reclamation potential
___________________________________________________________________ 17
4.5.1 Availability and potential for substitution __________________________________________________________________18
4.5.2 Improving the knowledge base _________________________________________________________________________20
4.5.3 Legal framework conditions and competition ______________________________________________________________ 21
4.5.4 Technological and logistic challenges ______________________________________________________________________ 21
4.5.5 Waste exports ______________________________________________________________________________________22
4.5.6 Reclaiming rare earths ___________________________________________________________________________________ 22
4.6 Geothermal energy
____________________________________________________________________________________________ 22
5. Raw material expertise as the basis for a modern economy _____________________________________________________________ 23
6. Technology transfer – What can Saxony offer? _______________________________________________________________________ 25
7. A need for skilled labour
________________________________________________________________________________________ 26
8. Guidelines and objectives of Saxon raw material policy ________________________________________________________________ 28
8.1 Local primary raw material: Saxony as a land of mining
_______________________________________________________________ 28
8.2 Secondary raw materials: Saxony as a land of secondary raw materials ___________________________________________________ 29
8.3 Saxony as a hub of the raw material economy
______________________________________________________________________ 30
8.4 International co-operations
_____________________________________________________________________________________ 30
8.5 Saxon raw material research
____________________________________________________________________________________ 31
8.6 Skilled specialists for the raw material economy
_____________________________________________________________________ 31
8.7 Saxon administration
__________________________________________________________________________________________ 32
8.8 Awareness of raw materials
_____________________________________________________________________________________ 32
9. Implementing the Saxon raw material policy _________________________________________________________________________ 33
Appendix (maps)
________________________________________________________________________________________________ 36

1. Foreword
Dear readers,
“Everything comes from the mine.” This old German saying not only attests to the pride of
our miners; in its simplicity, it also describes something many people no longer even realise:
that raw materials are an indispensable basis for everything around us that we take for grant-
ed every day.
Many people consider mining to be too dirty and outdated. An ever-developing economy,
though – be it industry, agriculture or trade –, a future-oriented infrastructure, a changing
mobility concept, modern information and communication technology, or even a modern health
system could not exist without mineral resources.
Germany’s reliable supply of raw materials – in terms of quantity and quality, as well as
its ever-changing diversity – is a key pre-requisite for our added value. The availability of
those resources will thus continue to be an important factor for growth and our society’s
wealth in the future.
Given Germany’s dependency on importing a number of raw materials, particularly metals, our
economy needs to come to terms with the global raw material situation, primarily characterised
by the widespread geographic distribution of deposits, growing worldwide demand, and a
dramatically evolving range of raw materials.
Coupled with this are political challenges associated with countries producing these
resources, rising social challenges, and greater requirements placed on the environment by
mining. The complexity of all those factors makes it impossible for them to be totally
controlled. The German economy’s resulting dependencies, which are far from clear-cut, can,
for example, be influenced by clever actions in international raw material policy. Another option
for reducing dependencies – increasing usage of our local raw materials and the expertise of
the local raw material economy, both in mining and recycling – is one within our own control.
Saxony has considerable potential when it comes to local primary raw materials used in a wide
variety of sectors, and the secondary raw materials obtained from waste are also becoming an
increasingly important, if not even indispensable source. Primary and secondary materials from
local sources thus not only help minimise dependencies on international raw material markets
using them also plays a key part in regional value creation and securing jobs.
One source of regional value creation which cannot be overstated is the traditionally strong
degree of networking between numerous stakeholders in both the Saxon and international raw
material economy. Here in the Free State, stakeholders associated with raw material research
and education, as well as our mining administration, make a significant contribution towards
ensuring Saxon raw material economy is focused on the future.
TheSaxon Raw Material Strategy” passed by the Cabinet in 2012 aims to integrate this potential
into an overarching economic scheme for a sustainable raw material economy. It is intended
to serve as a guide for the Free State’s raw material policy, with a conscious focus on primary
04 |
Martin Dulig
Saxon State Minister for
Economic Affairs,
Labour and Transport

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mining-related raw materials – such as pit & quarry natural resources, coal, ore and spar – and
secondary materials reclaimed from waste, which can substitute mined raw materials.
The issue of renewable raw materials has purposely not been incorporated into this strategy,
just as the challenges associated with designing production processes in terms of material
efficiency, such as saving raw materials in production processes and product design, have sim-
ilarly been left undiscussed. This is the subject of other strategic considerations and publica-
The present raw material strategy establishes the guidelines, objectives and tasks of the Saxon
raw material policy, whose main aim is to help devise framework conditions to revive local
mining and further develop the secondary resource industry in Saxony.
Another of our aims is to continue promoting the Free State as a raw material hub, and im-
proving opportunities for the Saxon raw material economy.
The raw material strategy remains in effect and up-to-date. Initial tasks have been tackled, and
the first results are already visible. One noteworthy example here is the ROHSA, a key project
run as part of the strategy, and which has achieved great success in digitising the existing
geological data for spar and ore and making this accessible to the economy. This has attracted
worldwide attention, and has resulted in around 50 mining permits (exploration and mining
approvals) so far being issued. It gives us confidence that ore and spar mining recommence in
the Ore Mountains in the future.
Implementing the raw material strategy is the responsibility of the entire community. It is
further a particular priority of mine to ensure people are made more aware of the importance
of raw materials in developing our society. A growing, knowledge-based awareness of these
raw materials is just as valuable to our community as clear, economically-based environmental
awareness and social awareness based on human values.
To modify the mining saying I mentioned at the start: “Everything comes from raw materials.”
This has always been the case, and will continue to be so in the future.
Because securing raw materials means securing the future.
As the German miners used to say, Glück auf!
Martin Dulig
Saxon State Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport

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2. Raw materials
critical for industry
Analyses of company surveys conducted by the Institute for Futures Studies and Technology
Assessment (IZT) found that rising commodity prices pose a problem for 76 percent of
companies, particularly industrial companies (93 percent), as material costs make up more than
20 percent of the total costs, and therefore play a key role in net operating results. There are
also increasing doubts about whether raw materials will be in adequate supply (47 percent). In
the coming years, access to and availability of said raw materials will be critical factors in deter-
mining which regions become home to new industries.
A study by the South-West Saxony Chamber of Industry and Commerce revealed the same results:
Figure 1
Share of material costs in Saxony’s total operating costs
< 20 staff
20-100 staff
> 100 staff
Under 10%
10 % to under 25 %
25% to under 50 %50% and over
0 %
20 %
40 %
60 %
80 %
Percentage companies
Percentage material costs out of total operating costs
Source: South-West Saxony Chamber of Industry and Commerce, 2007

Future technologies (selection)
Thin-film solar cells, IC, WLED
Permanent magnets, laser technology
Displays, thin-film solar cells
Fibre-optic cables, IR optic technologies
SOFC fuel cells, Al alloying element
Fuel cells, catalysis
Micro-capacitors, medical technology
RFID, lead-free solders
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The increased demand among future technologies proportionate to today’s worldwide production
will see a dramatic change in the global demand for raw materials.
The IZT study entitled “Raw materials for future technologies” examined how much of the respec-
tive worldwide raw material production in 2006 was made up of selected future technologies,
and how much of today’s worldwide production of the respective raw materials is expected to
be needed for these technologies in 2030:
These selected raw materials from the study show that it is necessary to increase both their
production and their reclamation in order to meet the greater demand of the future. The world’s
growing population and the desire for equal living conditions will also cause commodity markets
to evolve and demand to keep rising.
TheRaw materials critical for Germany” study conducted on behalf of the KfW bank classified
the supply situation for 13 raw materials as particularly critical, since shortages in these ma-
terials have a more serious impact on the German economy compared to other raw materials.
In addition to concentrating mining here on a handful of producing nations like China (anti-
mony, fluorite, germanium, graphite, indium, magnesium, rare earths, and tungsten), South
Africa (platinum metals), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (cobalt), and Brazil (niobium
and tantalum), it found that these could not or could only rarely be used, and that reclaiming
them as secondary raw materials is currently very difficult to justify at an economic level.

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Every value chain starts with a raw material. The old German saying of “everything comes from
the mine” is today just as relevant as ever: no raw materials means no industrial production,
and no industrial products means no service sector. A study conducted by the German Federal
Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources in 2008 found that Germans use between
1,000 t and 1,100 t of raw materials each during their lifetime. Mineral resources, i. e. metals,
industrial minerals, pit & quarry natural resources, make up almost two thirds thereof.
Figure 2
Consumption/usage of mineral and energy resources in Germany during an 80-year lifetime
2.1 Raw materials mining in the economic
value chain
Source: BGR, 2008
What most people don’t realise is that everything starts with raw materials, as those resources
are mined in other parts of the world and are only processed here. There is an expectation that
raw materials are commodities which always seem to be available, need to be cheap, and usu-
ally come from far-flung countries.”
The constant availability of raw materials on the global market is no longer a given, and may
have significant impacts on production in the industries affected. The damage potential for
raw material supply shortages and future technologies is classified as very high, because this
can disconnect industry from development and render it uncompetitive, particularly in cases of
heavy dependence. More and more alternative materials are being used in order to consistently
comply with the new requirements, which has resulted in ore (previously deemed irrecoverable/
tipped onto waste dumps) today coming sharply into focus. Whenever there are substitution
options to preserve high-quality production, the unavailability of a replaceable raw material is
classified as uncritical. Nevertheless, this often falls short in terms of technical feasibility or
public acceptance of the substitute materials.
For industry, this means assessing the criticality (availability) of all raw materials used to ensure
suitable measures can be taken to combat any actual risk.
Sand and gravel
245 t
Hard rocks
215 t
170 t
Mineral oil
105 t
Natural gas (in 1000 m³)
Limestone, dolomite
70 t
Black coal
65 t
40 t
27 t
Rock salt
14 t
12 t
Quartz sand
9 t
Gypsum, anhydrite
7 t
4.0 t
3.0 t
2.0 t
2.0 t
0.7 t
0.7 t
Potash (K
0.6 t
0.5 t
0.4 t
0.4 t
0.4 t
0.3 t
0.1 t

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2.2 Developing available raw materials
Raw materials are not renewable, and competing usage interests are often opposed to the
resources being mined. The fears expressed by the Club of Rome in its 1972 The Limits to
Growth study, which claimed that most of the raw material deposits used at the time would
be exhausted by the turn of the century, did not eventuate, as new geological findings and
modified price structures and resource technologies have led to the discovery of new deposits
and enabled known deposits to be rendered profitable. The development of new technologies
has also resulted in increasingly efficient handling of available resources. As things stand today,
the geological availability of most raw materials does not appear to have a short-term or me-
dium-term limit. Raw material reserves will continue to change depending on the economic
and political climate. The availability of strategic raw materials in the foreseeable future has,
however, been rated as critical.
Economic growth remains focused on raw materials, as evidenced by China. While China has
been an exporter of said resources in previous decades, the tables have now turned. The an-
nouncement to drastically reduce the exporting of rare earths as coveted high-tech raw mate-
rials is not so much the result of a serious shortage, but rather a plan geared around competition
and market dominance.
Using local supplies to artificially favour domestic production and securing the raw materials
necessary for this local production by signing exclusive contracts with the producing countries
has become a strategic trade policy tool. Export taxes on ore, export licences and export bans
will also play a role as possible tax instruments among other providers in future.
It is assumed that the demand for raw materials in so-called “newly industrialised countries”
will continue to grow, and this rising demand intensifies competition and pricing on the com-
modities market.
In addition to the aforementioned focus on a few producing nations is the fact that many of
these nations lack legal security, infrastructure and investments. As such, they pose a risk in
terms of long-term, reliable supply. Political and social instability in recent years has often seen
existing contracts neglected, investments not secured, additional levies charged, and the own-
ership structures at mining companies altered. Irrespective of this, the financial expense to ex-
plore and unlock new deposits will continue to grow, due to the fact that these deposits will
be more difficult to access and have lower contents, necessitating added and more cost-intensive
technical expense. In many cases, a raw material is only worth mining if the deposit also con-
tains other raw materials. If it becomes unprofitable to mine the main product, even the po-
tentially useful accompanying resource will not be extracted, thereby increasing its shortage on
the market. On the other hand, too many unwanted by-products in the deposits can result in
Source: GEOMIN - Erzgebirgische Kalkwerke GmbH

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Guaranteeing a reliable supply of raw materials is primarily the task of commercial enterprises.
The state’s task is to create the political, legal and institutional framework conditions for an
internationally competitive supply of raw materials. The political challenges affect economic
and environmental policy, as well as foreign, trade and development policy.
Some initiatives have already been taken at a European and federal level to ensure Europe and
Germany are supplied with raw materials over the long term. The German federal government
believes the framework conditions for using local resources should be improved without having
to limit environmental regulations. The federal states in particular are being called on to place
equal emphasis on securing raw materials as part of their land-use plans.
The establishment of a German mineral resources agency in the form of the Federal Institute
for Geosciences and Natural Resources in Hannover in autumn 2010 saw the Federal Ministry
for Economic Affairs create a central raw materials service for the German economy.
The tasks of the German Mineral Resource Agency are:
To establish a raw materials information system in order to increase
transparency on the commodity markets
To directly assist German businesses within Germany and abroad in relation
to raw materials issues
To provide professional support for the federal government’s funding programmes
To examine raw material resource potential within Germany and abroad ahead
of economic trends, and establish national partnerships to procure raw materials
from abroad.
The European Commission updated the previous EU raw material strategy in February 2011. The EU
employs a three-pillar strategy to ensure a reliable supply of raw materials:
Raw materials diplomacy, assisting with investments in developing nations to mine and
transport raw materials, conclude trade agreements, and monitor export restrictions
Promoting a sustainable supply of raw materials
Increasing resource efficiency and recycling
The EU Commission’s initiative also seeks to improve permit processes in member states‘ mining
industries, and improve resource data in the community by strengthening and networking the
State Geological Survey.
The EU Commission’s and German federal government’s main focuses are on international raw
material trade and on reclaiming basic materials from waste.
3. Federal and EU strategies
(European and national framework conditions)

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As a region rich in raw materials, Saxony advocates placing an additional focus on ensuring and
developing the local supply of raw materials (see maps 1 – 3). This is based on organic, intertwined
industrial-economic structures, starting with companies specialising in mining and reclaiming
raw materials, and covering all stages of further processing, production, application and reuse.
Mining enjoys a solid public reputation thanks to its centuries-old history and the ever-growing
wealth brought to Saxony as a result – as also evidenced by the mining tradition embraced
widely across the Ore Mountains. People know the influence mining, industry and trade have on
jobs, prosperity and standard of living. The increased environmental awareness and high environ-
mental standards in Germany do not contradict this. The environment and the raw material
economy must instead continue to be viewed and addressed in tandem, because efficient handling
of raw materials for humans and the environment brings greater benefit for current and future
4.1 Local raw materials
Centuries of intensive exploration and mining means Saxony possesses a comprehensive body
of geological and deposit-related information. Using and updating this for known deposits is of
significant economic importance to potential mining investors, as is currently the case with
ore, spar and lignite.
As early as autumn 2006, the Saxon State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport
(SMWA) contracted the Geokompetenzzentrum to reassess Saxony’s main ore and spar deposits
based on the conditions at hand. The existing data, e. g. regarding supplies, depth and mineral-
isation, was used to reclassify the supplies in terms of their quantity (small, medium or large
based on a global scale) and quality (geological awareness, feasibility, mineability) according to
UN supply classification criteria, and estimate the manufacturability of the raw materials. The
data was also compared with the raw materials deemed “critical” in multiple recent internation-
al studies and with Saxony’s known deposits. This comparison showed that Saxony has a sub-
stantial supply of these “critical” raw materials. As a result, various national and international
companies have increasingly been expressing interest in resuming ore and spar mining in the
Free State. Several licences have already been granted for this in recent years, and initial mining
projects are in the exploratory phase.
It is also worth mentioning that many of the raw materials described by a number of studies as
“critical” have been found in Saxony, such as indium, rare earths, tungsten, tin, fluorite, lithium,
molybdenum and silver.
Saxony is a land rich in raw materials. Solid rock, sand, gravel, all kinds of ceramic materials and
lignite exist in comparatively large quantities, and are mined in around 340 locations. Deposits
of ore and spar are also available in relatively large quantities compared to elsewhere in Germany.
The intensive geological explorations performed across Saxony during the second half of the
20th century have proven to be important sources of information here. In comparison with the
rest of the world, there is excellent awareness of the underlying geological situation and indi-
vidual deposits here, and this can significantly help advance decisions regarding sites and invest-
4. Raw materials in Saxony
Lithium ore | Source: TU BAF

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4.2 Lignite
With its shares in the Lusatian and Central German lignite mining district, the Free State of
Saxony is one of the main lignite mining states in Germany.
The approx. 30 million tonnes of lignite mined here every year makes up around 18 percent of
the total volume mined across the nation. Constituting about 3.5 percent of the lignite produced
worldwide, this quantity is also substantial at an international level. As a comparison, the volume
mined annually in Saxony is equal to that of countries such as Serbia, Canada, Romania and
India, which rank tenth to thirteenth among the world’s top lignite producers.
Saxony’s lignite deposits are as follows:
Central Germany (Saxon part): 13 billion tonnes
Lusatia (Saxon part): 5 billion tonnes
The lignite supplies likely to be used total approx. 6.7 billion tonnes in Central Germany (Saxon
part) and approx. 1.3 billion tonnes in northern Upper Lusatia.
Within the German economy, the lignite industry and its share on the energy market constitutes
an important factor for the energy industry and overall economy, with more than 86,000 jobs
and numerous upstream and downstream sectors capable of benefitting from the innovation
chain of lignite usage.
Until renewable energy developments, network expansion, and energy from wind, solar and
geothermal sources can cover the entire base load, lignite will remain an indispensable element
for ensuring an independent power supply.
Its cheap, extensive and subsidy-free availability plays a key role here. As such, lignite also helps
stabilise electricity prices and secure Germany’s position as an economic hub.
In the context of German and European climate-protection targets in Germany for 2020, lignite
does its bit towards achieving significant energy-saving potentials and reducing the environ-
mental impacts of fossil energy production by virtue of its role in efficient construction and as
a substitute at power plants. The Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and North-Rhine West-
phalia state governments are focusing on highly innovative technologies to reduce the CO
emissions generated through lignite use – usage which consequently plays a key role in main-
taining sustainable jobs and creating value regionally.
The guiding vision associated with sustainable lignite use is, however, to further develop from
solely thermal to material use of lignite and its components. This is also expected to generate
synergy effects when developing relevant thermochemical conversion processes, such as gas-
ification and pyrolysis, for material use of biogenic secondary resources in high-quality products
(e. g. biofuels, chemicals or electricity). The chemical industry’s material processes will continue
to need a carbon source, which, in regions with limited biomass potential – like Europe –, can
only be in fossil form when it comes to large-scale technical production. Carbon chemistry
provides a unique opportunity for Europe to obtain this carbon from local sources, and thus
reduce the unilateral dependence on oil and gas imports. This will ensure potentially greater
value creation, and possibly additional opportunities for growth, employment, and the long-term
survival of chemical facilities in eastern Germany.
Central Germany in particular enables material carbon usage to be integrated into the structures
of chemical parks built in the last 15 years, and whose proximity to sources constitutes a key
locational advantage. The “Innovative lignite integration in Central Germany – ibi” project
funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research has adopted a promising
approach. Initially designed with a regional focus on Central Germany, it seeks to establish a
research initiative at a European level – and this development is also being promoted in Saxony.
Reichenwalde open-cast mine
Source: VEM Vattenfall Europe Mining

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4.3 Pit & quarry natural resources
The main focus of the Saxon mining industry is on rpit & quarry natural resources, as evidenced
by the 345 companies operating in this sector. These companies are responsible for mining
almost all the raw materials necessary for the regional construction industry. Over half the
active mine sites extract sand, gravel or gravel sand, while the sites mining hard dock, including
carbonate rocks, make up around a third of all producers. The rest is primarily spread over
cohesive resources such as loam, clay and kaolin. Bentonite is not currently mined in Saxony.
Saxony has many different uses for its pit & quarry natural resources, and these can be divid-
ed into three groups:
(1) Hard rock, such as sandstone, gneiss and granite, is used as dimension stones or
processed into bulk goods.
(2) Sand and gravel serve as concrete aggregate, anti-frost layers or drainage layers,
or are used in road-building or glass-manufacturing.
(3) Clay is used as a base material for bricks (loam), for all kinds of ceramic products (clay),
paper, dyes and porcelain (kaolin).
Saxony currently has approx. 30 different mining companies specialising in natural ashlar, which
is essentially used in structures whose design and execution are primarily defined by aesthetic,
technical and economic aspects. The use of local natural ashlar has a long tradition in Saxony.
Local ashlar is indispensable when it comes to constructing buildings and squares and preserving
historic building fabric for heritage structures. The natural ashlar resources have made Saxony
home to several stone-quarrying and processing centres, whose products have gained promi-
nence at a national and even international level. Bulk goods are used as aggregates for asphalt
and concrete, as well as in road-building, rail engineering and civil engineering.
Europe’s first porcelain was manufactured out of Saxon kaolin 300 years ago, and the Elbe
sandstone used to reconstruct Dresden’s Frauenkirche is building material coveted right across
Germany. Modern concrete structures, meanwhile, rely on sand and gravel (and limestone). All
this demonstrates how indispensable mineral resources are in our everyday life.
Source: State Mining Authority of Saxony

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4.4 Ore and spar
The worldwide need for ore as a result of increasing demand and reduced or more cost-intensive
development of new deposit sites has prompted a massive rise in raw material prices since 2003.
Figure 3
Price trends for selected metals
The ore and spar deposit sites in the Ore Mountains were, until very recently, an important basis
for Saxony’s industrial development. Excavations sparked innovations in mining, metallurgy, and
the geosciences of mineraology and geology, extending well beyond the state’s borders.
While mining, particularly for tin, uranium, fluorite and barite, ceased with the 1990 economic
restructuring, dramatically increased global market prices have been generating considerable
interest in Saxony’s supplies and the resumption of mining since 2005. An initial mining project
focusing on fluorite and barite is already in its technical implementation phase, with further
projects currently being planned.
Most of Saxony’s ore and spar deposits are located in distinct distribution areas or mining regions
in the Ore Mountains and the Vogtland. Other deposits can be found near Schleife and Weiss-
wasser in Lusatia (North Sudeten Basin), north of Leipzig (Delitzsch Granodiorite Massif), and
the central Saxon hills (Granulite Mountains). Additional, similar sites and deposits are particularly
located at greater depths (>500 m).
Source: BGR, 2012

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Proven deposits in Saxony
(ore & spar – LfULG
Global mining production,
2010 (WEBER et al., 2012),
percentage proven Saxon
deposits out of total global
production in 2010
Proven deposits worldwide,
percentage proven Saxon
deposits out of proven global
deposits (reserves)
< 1
approx. 5
< 1
< 1
< 1
< 1
approx. 1
> 450
< 1
< 1
< 1
< 1
< 1
< 1
< 1
< 1
The following table shows an overview of the proven geological deposits of metals and spars
in Saxony compared to worldwide reserves and global production:
N/A = data not available
uq = unquantifiable
BGR = German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources
USGS = United States Geological Survey
BGS = British Geological Survey

16 |
While most of Saxony’s deposits may be classified as small or average in size in a global
comparison, they can play a new economic role in the event of growing demand and rising
global market prices. Of particular interest are tin, zinc, copper, tungsten, fluorite, barite, and
other metallic resources existing in profitable supply.
Metals and industrial minerals existing in Saxony and deemed important in terms of quantity
or value can be used in a number of ways in all kinds of industries:
A wealthy society requires a complex economy with a comprehensive value chain. Even a service-
providing society cannot survive without a strong industrial sector. Raw materials mining and
industrial production serve as critical guarantors here. Globalisation will not split labour in
goods production and distribution to an extent enabling Europe to withdraw from the industrial
sectors which impact on the environment. Exiting the raw material economy would lead to loss
of knowledge and capacity in the medium term, and increase dependencies. Investment capital
would inevitably drain away. All this would critically reduce wealth and social standards. Converse-
ly, scarcity and higher market prices in the face of worldwide demand also need to be utilised
to profitably increase domestic mining.
In other words, if mining local resources generates employment and income in the local
economy, this must be capitalised on immediately.
The Free State of Saxony supports the current return to ore and spar mining. Exploring depos-
it sites anywhere always involves financial expense and risk without guarantee of success. The
decision to carry out such a project must only ever be made in an entrepreneurial spirit, in
keeping with the global market conditions. Although European regulations do not allow aid
programmes aimed at funding the establishment of operational facilities, the Free State of
Saxony is one of the world’s best explored regions from a geological and geophysical perspective.
In this respect, it can provide data and services which spare investors the need to engage in
tedious, cost-intensive exploration work. With optimised permit and approval processes, it offers
legal security over the long term.
Raw materials proven to exist in Saxony
Lead (Pb)
Rechargeable batteries, alloys, radiation protection
Flux in the metals industry, base material for all fluorochemistry, optics, fillers, impregnating agents
Indium (In)
Solar cells, transparent displays, phototransistors, lasers, alloys, special adhesives, the glass industry
Copper (Cu)
Electric conductors, pipes, boilers, coins, fixtures, alloying element for brass and bronze
Lithium (Li)
Long-life rechargeable batteries, normal batteries, flux in aluminium smelting,
the glass and ceramics industry, lubricants, pharmacy
Nickel (Ni)
Non-corrosive steel, alloys, metal coatings, coins, gas turbines, catalysts, batteries
Drilling fluid additive, filler in plastics, soundproofing, pigment (white barite)
Rare earth elements (REEs)
Mobile devices, LCDs, permanent magnets (e. g. in generators at wind power plants),
hybrid rechargeable batteries, plasma screens, energy-efficient lamps, glasses, catalysts
Silver (Ag)
Electronics industry, alloys, jewellery, ornaments, tableware, coins, the photo industry
Tungsten (W)
Steel hardeners (tools, plating, bullets), welding electrodes, thermal shields
Zinc (Zn)
Rust protection (galvanising), coins, alloying element for brass
Tin (Sn)
Solder in the electrics industry, tin plates, chemicals, pigments, alloying element for bronze

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4.5 Secondary raw materials – Reclamation potential
In addition to Saxony’s primary raw materials, the possibility of reclaiming secondary resourc-
es also provides significant potential here. Sorted waste and mixed waste from all kinds of
sources are today either reused directly in production processes or treated at recycling plants
using innovative sorting and separation technology. Reclamation from secondary resources is
becoming particularly relevant among rare earths, given the local industry’s extreme depen-
dence on imports in this area.
Saxon recycling industry 2009 (according to the State Bureau of Statistics 2011)
Total waste
Total waste supplied
for waste removal
for use at waste
disposal plants
for recycling
plants, secondary
resources and products
in [t]
Thermal plants
Soil treatment plants
treatment plants
Scrap-car dismantling plants
Combustion plants with
energy recovery
Biological treatment plants
treatment plants
Shredding and scrapping plants
Sorting plants
Treatment plants for electrical
and electronic waste
Other treatment plants
Waste dumps
This strategy revolves around the primary raw materials obtained through mining. As such, the
focus is on secondary resources capable of substituting pit & quarry natural resources, coal,
ore and spar.
Secondary raw materials from a wide variety of waste (such as scrap wood, used tyres, solvents
and municipal waste), and which could replace lignite as an energy source, are not further
processed here – largely because their small quantities make them irrelevant compared to
other energy sources. Material recycling is generally also the preferred solution over waste
combustion for legal, environmental and, increasingly, economic reasons.
including dumps insofar as the production plants and systems materially recycle waste oil

18 |
4.5.1 Availability and potential for substitution
Secondary raw materials from non-hazardous mineral waste generated through construction,
demolition, thermal processes, waste treatment and municipal waste may be used instead of
rocks and earth (e. g. bottom ash, boiler ash, filter dust, broken tiles/bricks). The Saxon State
Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology estimates the quantity of mineral waste
in Saxony to be approx. 20 million tonnes, corresponding to almost 50 percent of the annual
supply volume of rock and earth (approx. 37 million tonnes). Of this, approx. 40 percent is treat-
ed at Saxony’s nearly 400 plants, while 60 percent of the mineral waste is poured into open-
cast mines to make them useable again.
The secondary construction materials are used as aggregate in technical structures (e. g.
road-building, industrial estates, soundproof walling), although no secondary construction
materials are currently used in structural engineering. Despite their large and therefore highly
relevant quantities, secondary construction materials cannot yet replace primary construction
materials. The aim here is to more intensively foster the potential of innovative treatment
processes and acceptance among users and the public in order to enable secondary construc-
tion materials of an adequately high quality to be supplied at competitive prices.
According to nationwide surveys, 92 percent of mineral waste is recycled, covering a third of
the demand for these raw materials (Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW Köln)), and
the secondary construction materials substitute 10 percent of the total aggregates used (Ger-
man Mineral Resources Agency). Metal waste (scrap) and waste containing metal (e. g. slag,
dust, packaging) is used to substitute ores and spars. Useable data on substitution potential is only
available at a national level (IW Köln, BGR, ZVEI/Commerzbank): almost 50 percent of the crude
steel manufactured in Germany is obtained from scrap steel. Scrap is used in around 56 percent
of nonferrous metal production. And in Germany’s refined sugar and crude steel production
industry, 43 percent of the copper, 60 percent of the aluminium, 69 percent of the lead and 44 per-
cent of the crude steel come from secondary raw materials.
The Free State of Saxony has for years been home to established companies providing highly
innovative treatment technologies to recover metals.
Findings from the Saxon Bureau of Statistics show that the state’s supplies totalled some
917,000 tonnes for a selection of the relevant waste fractions.

| 19
Waste from the iron and steel industry
10 02
Waste from the iron and steel industry
10 07
Waste from thermal silver, gold and platinum metallurgy
10 08
Waste from other thermal nonferrous metallurgy
10 09
Waste from iron and steel-casting
10 10
Waste from the casting of nonferrous metals
11 01
Waste from chemical surface treatment and
coating of metals and other materials
12 01
Waste from mechanical moulding processes and processes
involving mechanical surface treatment of metals and
12 01 02
Iron dust and particles
12 01 03
NF metal filings and turnings
12 01 04
NF metallic dust and particles
12 01 09*
Halogen-free processing emulsions and solutions
12 01 14*
Processing slurry containing hazardous substances
12 01 15
Processing slurry, except those classified
under 120114
12 01 16*
Blasting-agent waste containing hazardous substances
12 01 17
Blasting-agent waste, except those classified under 120116
12 01 18*
Metal slurry containing oil (abrasive, honing and lapping slurries)
12 03
Waste from water and steam-degreasing (except 11)
16 01
Various scrap vehicles
(including mobile machinery and waste resulting from the dismantling of
scrap vehicles and vehicle maintenance)
16 01 17
Ferrous metals
16 08
Used catalysts
17 04
Metals (including alloys)
19 10
Waste from shredding metal-containing waste
19 10 02
NF metallic waste
19 12
Waste resulting from the mechanical treatment of waste
(e. g. sorting, crushing, compacting, pelleting), not elsewhere specified
19 12 03
Nonferrous metals
All metal waste / metal-containing waste
Optimised statistics for the quantities recorded among plant operators and customers would
likely show a higher potential for recyclable waste. The Saxon State Office for the Environment,
Agriculture and Geology (LfULG) has calculated 7,500 tonnes/year or 1.4 kg/inhabitant/year in
unused potential for metal-containing waste generated by private households (e. g. lightweight
packaging, residual waste, excluding bulky items). By introducing a yellow bin for non-packag-
ing made from similar materials, Germany is expected to unlock a potential equal to 7 kg of
similar-material products per head, per year (570,000 tonnes annually). Further potential can
be unlocked if metal-containing mineral waste (e. g. dust and slag) generated during metal
recovery continues to be used. Until now, due to lacking profitability, it has primarily been used
as a substitute construction material at waste dumps, or been dumped itself.
Rare earths and precious metals are found in a variety of production waste, consumables waste
(e. g. electronic and electrical waste), used batteries, scrap vehicles, and large-scale applications
such as solar panels or wind turbines. One tonne of disused exhaust emission catalysts can
generate 0.5 kg of platinum metals, and one tonne of mobile-phone scraps can produce up to
340 g of gold. This substitution has already reached a substantial scale in some cases (e. g.
secondary metals from catalysts, electronic scraps etc. already cover more than half of global
demand for platinum metals and palladium). But there is still considerable need and potential
for optimisation, particularly for rare earth metals and precious metals.

20 |
4.5.2 Improving the knowledge base
The knowledge base necessary to assess the specific, available raw materials potential to be
gained from the Saxon economy extracting secondary resources must be improved. When it
comes to pit & quarry natural resources, a material flow analysis for both secondary and pri-
mary construction materials is essential in order to create optimum conditions for sustainable
raw material usage. This requires clarifying questions such as:
Which secondary raw materials available in Saxony can quantitatively and
qualitatively be used to substitute primary raw materials?
What specific quantities of recyclable waste are generated in Saxony itself,
or can be acquired from external sources?
To what extent can Saxon facilities be expanded/new facilities be set up to treat
this waste?
What technologies are available/must be developed, and, if applicable,
how must these be funded?
What factors need to be taken into account (e. g. demographic change, economic
activity, market barriers, environmental framework and approval requirements);
Can these be managed or configured in order to achieve the raw material targets?
Stock-takes of this kind have so far been subject to statistically strict limits, including by the
framework set by the Environmental Statistics Act. No other regular surveys are conducted in
Saxony. Waste quantities recorded for commercial and industrial fields in particular are sketchy
at best. The fact that there is no specially “classified economic sector” makes it difficult to gain
a comprehensive overview of the Saxony-based companies and plants operating in the secondary
raw material economy.
A specific distinction from other industries and between companies actually implementing
recycling processes and providing associated services (e. g. recording, transportation) or the
necessary technology is urgently required.
Coupled with this is the fact that many companies have dual fields of activity (e. g. mining
mineral resources while simultaneously accepting, treating and recycling mineral waste). The
register of waste disposal plants in the Free State of Saxony
contains 836
facilities. While permitted plant capacities provide some indication of the raw material potential
(e. g. capacity for 173,000 scrap vehicles and 78,000 tonnes of electrical waste per year), the
available data for this is from 2007. Information on specific, reclaimed materials or material
fractions is indispensable when it comes to assessing economic development potential. State
government initiatives will also help organise networks for co-operations, knowledge transfer,
and joint product and process technology developments.
If nothing else, improving the knowledge base includes a complex, comprehensive study of
entire value chains, and this is further impeded by interdependencies between primary and
secondary resource flows (e. g. rehabilitation obligations for mining primary raw materials
corresponding flows of secondary construction materials intended for fills, corresponding remov-
al of material for better quality treatment). Comprehensive analyses of material flows are re-
quired in order to devise solutions suitable for the overall economy.
There is thus a general need to collect information on the latest supplies, disposal facilities, and
secondary resources actually available.

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4.5.3 Legal framework conditions and competition
It is worth noting that the work associated with extracting secondary raw materials involves
intense regulatory controls compared to mining primary resources. This ranges from concrete
specifications in the individual usage stages and processes (e. g. extent of draining or dismantling
of scrap vehicles or electrical waste), to target usage quotas, to extensive requirements for
analyses and sampling, and not least concrete criteria for determining when a product is no
longer waste, and mandatory regulations for manufacturing new materials or products (e. g.
EU chemical law). The waste framework regulations implemented through the Closed-Loop
Waste Management Act have provided initial ideas for obtaining more raw materials from
waste, but these need to be intensified. This comparatively tight legal corset limits leeway for
flexible solutions and innovative developments. The state government is always focused on
ensuring balanced regulations at an EU and national level, which take into account both environ-
mental requirements and raw material targets. Unlike for primary resource mining, the dispos-
al market also traditionally sees private companies pitted against the municipal authorities as
waste management utilities. Insofar as waste provision obligations apply, private companies
are initially denied access to this waste. These companies are dependent on the collection
procedures of public waste management utilities (e. g. electrical waste) or are bound to the
additional specifications stipulated by the public waste management utilities as their clients.
But waste is becoming less of an environmental hazard and more of a solution for raw material
supply shortages. Given that the process of reclaiming resources, particularly metals and rare
earths, from waste involves highly complex procedures and investments in high-tech systems,
it pushes the limits of municipal capabilities. Regardless of clear framework regulations and
controls, this field clearly belongs to the private economy. Reorientating it requires getting all
stakeholders onboard, and exhausting legal capacities at a national and EU level. The amended
Closed-Loop Waste Management Act does not meet these needs.
4.5.4 Technological and logistic challenges
Even more so than for mineral waste, recovery processes for metal-containing waste face the
tremendous challenge of tackling elaborate material compounds, hybrid component structures,
the wide range of materials per product, and correspondingly complex, non-homogenous
waste flows. A broad range of options exists for researching and developing innovative process-
es which maximise potential and prevent system losses for secondary raw materials through irre-
versible changes. One of the greatest challenges associated with mineral-based secondary re-
sources lies in developing technologies which enable adequately high quality at competitive
prices compared to the primary construction materials, and establishing an effective quality
assurance scheme. Logistics is another area providing considerable potential for optimisation: For
example, waste collection must be optimised for subsequent recycling processes/uses to ensure
certain options are not discounted right from the outset. This requires an appropriate informa-
tion exchange between stakeholders in the value chain (manufacturers, suppliers, consumers,
Additional value can be created by ensuring the technical know-how acquired through treating
and processing primary resources can also be used for secondary raw materials. Experience to
date shows that corresponding technological synergy effects are principally anticipated in re-
lation to coal (technologies associated with the material usage of lignite, e. g. gasification,
pyrolysis), ore or spar (selection and smelting using recovery technology processes). The creation
of networks, as well as researching and conducting training to develop and secure connections
between the production of primary and secondary resources, pose particular challenges for the

22 |
4.5.5 Waste exports
The exporting of metal-containing waste in particular (e. g. scrap, electrical waste, scrap vehicles),
which does not undergo any high-quality recovery processes in the importing country, results
in large quantities of secondary raw materials being lost. Around half of these are illegal exports
from the EU. But even legally exported waste prevents secondary raw materials from accessing
the German economy through unreliable re-importing options. As such, fewer than 50 percent
of rejected vehicles are reused in Germany.
EU regulations should eliminate the ongoing uncertainties associated with distinguishing
between waste and functional products (already in existence for some electronic devices). This
will cut out legal grey areas which otherwise encourage illegal exports. Framework conditions
which either make domestic recovery processes more attractive than exports, or which ensure
high-quality recovery abroad, with the option of re-importing the secondary resources, also
need to be created.
4.5.6 Reclaiming rare earths
Rare earths are frequently widespread and exist in very low concentrations. During convention-
al recycling processes, they end up irretrievably lost in shredder fractions or waste combustion.
Instead of processes aimed at mass metals (recycling quotas), there needs to be efficient collec-
tion systems and treatment techniques which can be used to reclaim the small percentages of
high-quality elements. And these must be perfectly co-ordinated. If, for example, only 50 per-
cent of the used products are collected, even a 95 percent recovery quota in a high-tech process
will be unable to compensate for the losses incurred during collection.
Recovering rare earths requires specific know-how, complex processes (especially chemical
processes) and elaborate equipment. Very few systems and technologies around the world have
so far been capable of this. Self-developed recovery processes are often not profitable for
commercial use due to the great time and expense involved with dismantling, and the intense
energy requirements. Research and development in this area are particularly important, as is
the need for financial support (very large, risky investments). The Free State of Saxony must
acknowledge and foster the resulting opportunities provided by a new, meaningful high-
technology industry. A critical initial step has been taken with initiatives such as the “Life Cycle
Strategies” innovation forum in Freiberg and the research activities performed by the Helm-
holtz Institute of Resource Technology, Freiberg. Saxon companies can be supported in their
efforts to develop new, highly effective recovery and treatment technologies and associated
specific machinery, systems and equipment, including in co-operation with university or
non-university research institutes, as part of Saxony’s technology funding programme.
4.6 Geothermal energy
Geothermal energy is gaining prominence as a renewable energy source, and harbours considerable
potential for environmentally friendly energy use, including for Saxony, given the current situation
in the raw material and energy industries. Geothermal energy, which is located close to the
surface and also covers mine-water geothermal energy, unlocks potential to depths of 400 m,
and is used exclusively for climate control in buildings. Shallow geothermal energy currently
operates approx. 900 geothermal power plants in Saxony, with an installed total heat output of
approx. 107 MW. Saxony’s flooded mining caverns provide a previously underused potential for
climate control (heating and cooling) in buildings. Current cases of geothermal energy being
used in Saxony can be found in Marienberg (aquamarine), Ehrenfriedersdorf (secondary school),
and Freiberg (Schloss Freudenstein, Steigerhaus Reiche Zeche). Deep geothermal energy is one
of the environmentally friendly future prospects for power and heat generation. Unlike other
states, Saxony’s geology means only petrothermal energy can be used. Temperature models reveal
values between 105 and 190°C at depths of 5 km. Generating power by drilling to depths of 5 km
to use the energy stored inside the earth appears to be a feasible option in Saxony in almost all
of the areas examined.

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Having broad expertise in raw materials can make Saxony a leading innovator in the field.
Business and scientific capacities provide unique potential for sustainable value creation in the
Free State of Saxony, and enable good opportunities for development. Saxony has excellent
expertise and substantial capacities in research, business and administration, covering the
entire life cycle from raw material mining, to treatment, refinement and processing, to recla-
mation. As Germany’s engineering hotspot, the state is able to provide qualified workers to
meet companies’ needs for specialists and managers. Additional expansions in Saxon raw
material research helps ensure it retains its top position at an international level. Of equal
importance is Saxony’s scientific know-how and business acumen in the field of materials re-
search. New materials gained as a result of reclamation or substitution will replace or supplement
traditional materials. This involves changes in manufacturing processes, tool and machinery
requirements, and thus mechanical engineering innovations.
Freiberg is Saxony’s scientific hub for geoscientific, geotechnical and geo-economical matters,
land-use planning, regional planning, resource usage/safeguarding, and economically sound
usage of the geosphere. A number of establishments and initiative exist for this purpose. The
Freiberg University of Mining and Technology
, as Saxony’s university specialising in resources,
teaches and researches in four main fields – geosciences, materials, energy, and environment –
along the value chain to facilitate sustainable materials and energy industries. Since its founding
in 1765 as the world’s oldest mining university, it is closely affiliated with mining and the
metallurgical treatment of mineral resources. Its scientists are not only focused on uncovering
new deposits, but also on developing alternative energy technologies, new materials, and modern
recovery processes.
The plans to extend the existing “Reiche Zeiche” educational and research mine, in close
co-operation with the Helmholtz Institute of Resource Technology in Freiberg, into the world’s
first “green” mine are also set to reinforce and further develop the very successful approach of
horizontal networking through the raw material value chain and vertical networking of the
idea through laboratory testing and the pilot plant. In consultation with Saxon, German and
international research partners and industrial companies, they also aim to develop and test
methods and processes which operate efficiently in terms of raw materials, the environment
and resources to sustainably obtain raw materials under in-situ conditions.
Freiberg’s Helmholtz
of Resource Technology, sponsored by the Freiberg University of Mining and Technol-
ogy and the Helmholtz Centre in Dresden-Rossendorf, pools research expertise to ensure the
German economy can be adequately supplied with raw materials. One of the initial main tasks
is to mine and recover high-technology metals such as gallium, indium, germanium and rare
earth elements, which are indispensable in the fields of renewable energy and electromobility.
Founded on 1 July 1542, the
Saxon Mining Office
is Germany’s oldest mining authority, and
was the key source of the mining-law developments which were then applied in other mining
regions of Europe. The term “sustainability” was coined by chief mining administrator Hans Carl
von Carlowitz as early as 1713, and, since 1991, the Saxon Mining Office has been the competent
authority for occupational health and safety, environmental protection, and resource sustainability
in Saxony’s mining industry. It concentrates primarily on open-pit mining for lignite, pit & quarry
natural resources, as well as land rehabilitation and an old mining tradition spanning centuries.
The Bergarchiv Freiberg
stores and preserves official Saxon mining and metallurgical
documents and mining company documents dated up to 1990. Its archives provide insights
5. Raw material expertise
as the basis for a modern

24 |
into mines and underground caverns, revealing information on deposits, safety issues as part
of old mining projects relating to exploration and storage measures, and the impacts of mining
history on Saxony as a region.
Saxon Geological Survey is performed by the
State Office for the Environment, Agriculture
and Geology
. Based in Freiberg, the Geology department is the central port of call for applied
geoscientific matters such as resource geology, hydro geology and engineering geology. Calcu-
lating Saxony’s resource potential, including all deposits and supplies, enables important
technical bases to be established for studies and analyses in resource geology. Other tasks include
geological surveying and assessing geological risks such as earthquakes. The State Office for
the Environment, Agriculture and Geology acts as the main authority here for administrating
and providing all geological data (e. g. drillings and other exploration), and this information
plays a major role in the lead-up to business activities aimed at exploring raw materials.
Additional research establishments in Freiberg, such as the Fraunhofer Technology Centre for
Semiconductor Materials, non-profit research institutes, and private companies round off the
knowledge and performance capacities across all aspects of mining.
Geokompetenzzentrum Freiberg e. V.
was founded in March 2002 with the direct involvement
of the Free State of Saxony. It is a network of more than 170 members from business, science
and administration, pooling the region’s varied expertise in the fields of geology, the environ-
ment, mining, and the extracting and recovery of raw materials. The centre’s primary focus is on
developing new quality in the issue-driven collaboration between science, research, adminis-
tration and business, while interdisciplinary work groups from members’ and partners’ fields
formulate requirements for the market or project.
The co-operation between state institutions and businesses from the relevant industries combines
the existing capacities for further research and development. The businesses are offered state
partners to provide scientific assistance for projects. The Freiberg University of Mining and
Technology, the Mining Office, and the State Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology
all have access to practical research and information from other mining regions – a concept which
must be constantly deepened and developed into a central hub for geosciences and mining.
Reiche Zeche in Freiberg | Source: Heymann – SMWA

| 25
Framework agreements and supply contracts are just one important step towards accessing and
using other nations’ raw material stores. They cannot guarantee protection against commodity
market distortion on their own. Regardless of the resources available, many countries take
measures to manipulate price trends, protect their own industry, and control exports. On the
other hand, Third World countries in particular lack the experience and knowledge to efficiently
mine their raw materials. Only with increasingly mutual networking can mutual trust and
insight into common interests grow. This requires intense cultivation of business and contacts
at all levels.
Saxony’s mining companies and experts boast impressive knowledge and experience here. The
state has a centuries-old tradition and latest knowledge of the raw material economy, making
it highly regarded in resource-rich countries, especially in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Its
experience in the complex field of ore mining, sustainable mine rehabilitation, and expertise in
alternative excavation methods, smelting and resource reclamation in particular is gaining in
demand worldwide.
Saxony is a hub for geoconsultants, exploration companies, active mining companies, and
highly specialised firms operating in the area of mine rehabilitation. Saxony has an efficient,
powerful raw material economy with some 5,000 companies employing around 75,000 staff.
In addition to the companies mentioned above, Saxony is also home to a number of firms
supplying the technology required to extract and treat raw materials. Many businesses have
purposely established bases near the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology in order to
collaboratively develop new machinery, system technology and treatment processes. Highly
complex open-cast mining systems from Saxony – ranging from bucket-wheel excavators to
bucket dredgers to conveyor bridges – transport raw materials around the world.
Companies operating in the fields of environmental and reclamation engineering with leading
innovative technologies, particularly for recovering ferrous and nonferrous metals from various
types of waste, have established themselves in the Freiberg region, based on the raw materials
industry which has emerged there.
The region also serves as the hub for a strong industry with a growing demand for strategic raw
materials (e. g. photovoltaic industry, supply industry for microelectronics, foundry industry etc.).
International co-operations make state institutions open to raw material-rich countries seeking
long-term collaborations with German companies, both as research centres and training centres
for their specialists. This lays the foundation for ongoing partnerships and co-operations ex-
tending beyond single projects.
6. Technology transfer –
What can Saxony offer?

26 |
Studies and training in mining professions have a long tradition in the Freiberg region as a
result of its 800-year mining history. In order for the area to be further developed, companies’
needs for skilled specialists and managers must be reliably met. This will be one of the biggest
challenges over the coming years.
Raw material production in particular requires training and practice to be closely intertwined. The
Freiberg University of Mining and Technology
is one of Germany’s three classic training insti-
tutions for young students of the extractive industry. Its results in rankings and external funding
consistently demonstrate a high quality of research and teaching. Its solid profile has given it top
future prospects in a highly competitive university landscape, and seen it continuously grow
every year. The Freiberg University of Mining and Technology is today Germany’s only university
to offer training options in all mining and geosciences subjects. Its seven institutes provide a
comprehensive package of Bachelor and Masters courses under one roof:
Mining and specialised foundation engineering,
Drilling technology and fluid mining,
Mine surveying and geodesy, and
The Freiberg University of Mining and Technology also offers a number of training options in
the recovery of secondary resources from waste (e. g. “Chemistry and physics”, “Mechanical
engineering, process technology and energy engineering”, “Materials engineering and technol-
ogy”) at several of its faculties.
This is supplemented by the services at the nearby
TU Dresden
, particularly in its science and
engineering faculties (e. g. Institute for Waste Management and Contaminated Sites, Chemistry
Department, Institute for Process and Environmental Technology, and the United Nations Uni-
versity Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNUFLORES),
specialising in the secondary resources industry).
7. A need for skilled labour

| 27
In anticipation of a revival in Saxon mining activities, mining training courses have been
offered since 2004 through a joint initiative by the Saxon State Ministry for Economic Affairs,
Labour and Transport, the
Technical College at the Julius Weisbach Vocational Training
, and the State Mining Autority of Saxony. Germany’s only recognised trade of miner and
mining machine operator provides graduates with excellent opportunities to join the profession
and start their career.
State Mining Autority of Saxony
is the supervisory authority appointed by the state
government for the course, and has for many years been continuously training aspiring teach-
ers preparing for higher civil service. This training is offered in the subjects of mining and
surveying. The preparation phase is geared around subsequent employment in the state mining
administration. The knowledge acquired also opens up a number of opportunities to work at
companies in and outside of the mining industry. For qualified surveying engineers, successfully
completing the preparatory phase simultaneously serves as a basis for becoming a recognised
surveyor later on.
The traditional Beflissenenausbildung or training for registered mining students sees
geoscience students learn practical mining and surveying skills and knowledge from a variety
of mining sectors to equip them for subsequent employment.
The various training options offered by vocational colleges and universities in Saxony are not
just designed to meet the local demand for young talent. They can also include training for
students from other countries in need of skilled labour.
The Saxon raw material economy plays a key role in the Saxon economy. Saxon raw material
policy aims to permanently strengthen the state as a raw material hub, increase opportunities
for value creation in this important sector, and help ensure a sustainable supply of raw materials
for Saxony’s growing industry. To do this, the Saxon state government follows the guidelines
Source: © goodluz |

28 |
8.1 Local primary raw material: Saxony as a land of mining
Saxony will continue to be a land of mining. As such, the framework conditions for mining local
raw material must ensure remains profitable over the long term:
By having land-use plans which protect regions potentially capable of being used
to mine mineral resources and lignite,
By systematically updating existing raw material databases,
By helping companies finance deposit site exploration, and
By adapting the legal framework conditions to the needs of the raw material economy.
8. Guidelines and objectives
of Saxon raw material policy

| 29
8.2 Secondary raw materials:
Saxony as a land of secondary raw materials
Saxony is becoming a land of secondary raw materials. As such, the framework conditions for
ensuring the resources contained in waste are reintroduced to the materials cycle must be
further developed to enable Saxony to become a leading hub for the reclamation industry in
Germany and Europe:
By improving the knowledge base for Saxon companies to assess specific, feasible
secondary resource potential derived from waste,
By paying greater attention to the raw material targets in recycling law,
By increasing the quantitative and qualitative (e. g. rare earths) material usage
quota in waste disposal,
By providing the option of reclaiming raw materials from current and
future waste,
By increasing the attractiveness of recovering materially reusable waste within
Germany instead of exporting it/by encouraging high-quality recycling processes
and the necessary infrastructure (e. g. separate collection) abroad,
Through better co-ordinated collection and recovery processes based on networked
expertise in the base-material-processing industry and recycling industry,
By helping to research and develop new separation and treatment technologies, and
develop specific mechanical and system technology
By supporting innovations and investments in the field of resource recycling,
particularly for high-technology processes and systems designed to recycle rare earths
By strengthening competition in the disposal industry, and
By raising social perceptions of the recycling industry as part of the raw material economy.
Source: Fluss- und Schwerspatcompagnie EFS Geos GmbH

30 |
8.3 Saxony as a hub of the raw material economy
The traditional networking between stakeholders of the raw material economy has always been a
key foundation and source of scientific and technical progress in Saxon raw material economy. This
networking must ensure individual stakeholders are able to benefit from it, and must also encour-
age innovative developments in the industry:
By helping expand and pool existing networks, such as the Geokompetenzzentrum
Freiberg e. V., FIRE e. V., LIBESA etc.
By further developing economic and scientific capacities and expertise in Saxony’s
raw material economy, particularly in Freiberg and Dresden,
By systematically marketing Saxony as a hub of the raw material economy, and
By creating framework conditions which encourage additional stakeholders to
contribute their potential to existing structures.
8.4 International co-operations
The Saxon raw material economy has long-time international contacts in resource-rich
countries. These contacts must be developed in such a way so as to ensure Saxony’s expertise in
this field can be marketed better than before:
By cultivating contacts with foreign graduates from Saxon universities, particularly
the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology,
By supporting resource-related partnerships between Saxon universities and
international universities and research institutes in selected countries, for both
primary and secondary raw materials,
By supporting Germany’s resource partnerships with selected countries,
By supporting the Saxon raw material economy during activities abroad, particularly as
part of the Saxon foreign trade initiative,
By marketing specific Saxon resource technologies and resource-related research
results, and recognised reference objects for mine restoration and rehabilitation,
as well as
By helping partner nations create framework conditions for their national resources
industry, based on development tasks and objectives.
Source: BGH Edelstahlwerke GmbH

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8.5 Saxon raw material research
The current technical, economic and environmental challenges faced by the raw material econ-
omy require intensive scientific assistance. This means strengthening the existing structures at
universities and non-university establishments, networking them closely with one another, and
expanding them in accordance with current requirements to make Freiberg a mining hub:
By gearing the university landscape, particularly the Freiberg University of
Mining and Technology and the TU Dresden, around the requirements of a
sustainable raw material economy,
By supporting the establishment of other research institutes, particularly in places
where expertise already exists,
By developing business-related research at companies,
By intensifying application-oriented resource research at all stages of the value chain,
including specific mechanical and plant engineering,
By creating the nation’s and Europe’s only research environment for raw material
production by developing the Reiche Zeche educational and research
mine to become the world’s first sustainable mine,
By more intensively integrating Saxon resource research into European and
non-European networks,
By developing technologies which economically enable the mining, treatment and
processing of local raw materials, ensure extensive, profitable recycling of raw materials
generated by waste, better network the two fields, and utilise synergy effects, and
Through effective technology transfer of the specific know-how existing at universities
and research institutes, and the relative results, to Saxon businesses.
8.6 Skilled specialists for the raw material economy
The (continued) training of skilled specialists in the field of raw materials is a traditional forte
of the Saxon education system. To perpetuate this tradition, Saxon must further develop its
leading role in this area:
By intensifying the (continued) training of local specialists and managers,
By training foreign specialists and managers, especially those from resource-rich
developing nations and newly industrialised nations,
By intensifying resource-related skills at the relevant Saxon universities,
By supporting international contacts and projects at the relevant Saxon educational
By adapting the training programmes to the relevant needs of the national and
international raw material economy, and
By networking the various education providers.

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8.7 Saxon administration
The Saxon administration considers itself a service provider of the raw material economy.
Building on centuries-old (in some cases) experiences, the aim is to constantly gear the existing
structures around the needs of the raw material economy:
By maintaining an independent, efficient Saxon mining administration,
By having Freiberg as the central hub of resource-related administration,
Through continuous dialogue between the administration and business,
By efficiently structuring administrative processes, and
By raising awareness of the raw material economy’s interests at all levels of
8.8 Awareness of raw materials
The Saxon raw material economy has traditionally been very well accepted by the public. The idea
of working towards an ideology-free, knowledge-based, not fear-based community awareness
of raw materials must be established as a task performed by society as a whole:
By conveying the notion that the raw material economy is one of the essential bases
of human society,
By teaching solid, basic science at all levels of education,
By systematically teaching facts and practices relating to raw materials to
people of all ages and education levels,
Through an offensive information policy regarding the requirements and opportunities
of a modern raw material economy,
By rehabilitating post-mining landscapes, taking into account both the
traditional regional factors, as well as unlocking opportunities for sustainable
regional development, and
By effectively presenting the work already done to rehabilitate post-mining landscapes
in Saxony
Source: © Picture-Factory |

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Below is a list of short-term and medium-term tasks which help ensure the guidelines and
objectives are implemented.
It must be constantly updated.
The tasks are aimed at all stakeholders in the raw material economy – companies and associ-
ations, as well as educational and scientific establishments, policyholders, the administration
and citizens.
The purpose of this list is to name/acquire specific tasks and persons responsible for them.
Although some tasks serve to fulfil a number of guidelines, we have endeavoured to allocate
the specific tasks to certain guidelines.
9. Implementing the Saxon
raw material policy
Developing a Saxon initiative at a national and European level to financially
assist with prospecting and exploring local deposit sites
Updating the databases for Saxon pit & quarry natural resources, spar, ore and lignite resources
regardint quantity and quality
Fulfilling the raw material data principles in the regional and land-use plan
Formulating a plan to back up raw material data currently existing outside the
state administration
Providing a representative illustration of Saxony’s raw material potential to entice
investors and develop and operate a Saxony-specific, resource-oriented information service
2. Secondary raw material: Saxony as a land of secondary raw material
Initiating pilot projects to optimise a co-ordinated system to collect recycled materials
Developing quality-assurance systems for secondary raw materials
Analysing potential for profitable, accessible secondary raw material sources
Analysing material flows for the sustainable use of mineral primary and secondary
construction materials in Saxony, taking into account reciprocal effects and interactions
Developing a “secondary raw materials” network for resource users, recyclers
and authorities
Developing a plan for the future waste-dump industry in order to ensure raw materials
obtained from dumped waste can be recycled profitably
1. Local primary raw materials: Saxony as a land of mining

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3. Saxony as a hub of the raw material economy
Developing and operating a Saxony-specific, raw material-oriented information service
Holding events geared around the raw material economy,
particularly also for material-intensive and material-sensitive businesses
Supporting theme-specific networks, e. g. the “Innovative Braunkohlen Integration
in Mitteldeutschland ibi” (coal refining), “Life Cycle Strategien” and
“Geobiotechnologie und Mikrobiologische Verfahren im Bergbau” innovation forums
Updating the Saxon Raw Material Strategy
4. International co-operations
Concluding bilateral agreements regarding Saxony’s co-operation with important
resource-rich countries (e. g. Mongolia, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, Vietnam,
former CIS states etc.)
Creating a programme to internationally market Saxon raw material expertise
acquired from research, business, education and administration
Pooling the student networks of all resource-related faculties at Saxon universities
into one institutional platform
5. Saxon raw material research
Developing a Saxon “Sustainable raw material use” research programme
Developing practice-oriented raw material research, e. g. through intensified co-operation
between science, administration and business as part of grading work
Formulating a plan for targeted, practical staff exchange between business,
science and administration
Integrating “Saxon raw material” issues into the work of the
Freiberg Institute for Resource Technology
Pilot projects to increase efficiency in obtaining both local raw materials and
secondary raw materials, including networking both fields
Re-appointing chairs for processing, mining and surveying at the
Freiberg University of Mining and Technology
Re-appointing a chair for waste management at the Institute for
Waste Management and Contaminated Sites at the TU Dresden
Providing focused support for research and development to recycle local raw materials,
e. g. coal refinement
Providing focused support for research and development to sustainably recycle raw materials
in a resource-efficient and environmentally-efficient at the Freiberg University of Mining and
Developing the “United Nations University Institute for Integrated Management of
Material Fluxes and of Resources” (UNUFLORES) at the TU Dresden

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6. Training specialists for the raw material economy
Formulating and implementing (continued) training initiatives for the
Saxon raw material economy and research
Developing mining and raw material training programmes at the Technical College at the
Julius Weisbach Vocational Training Centre
7. Saxon administration
Formulating a continued raw material training programme for
affected administrations
Formulating a staff-exchange programme between companies and the administration
8. Awareness of raw materials
Intensifying co-ordinated, raw material economy-related PR across all media
Formulating a plan to develop and increase social awareness of raw materials
Developing promotional projects to increase regional acceptance of specific
raw material projects
Developing raw material information material for school and pre-school education
More intensively incorporating the issue of raw material into basic science
teaching at all levels of education
Reintroducing the school subject of geography as a specialised course

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List of abbreviations
Berufsschulzentrum (vocational training centre)
Educational institutions
Financial institutes
Geokompetenzzentrum e. V.
Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf
(sponsor of the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology)
Chambers of industry and commerce
PWDA Public waste disposal authorities
Regional planning associations
Saxon universities
State government
TU Bergakademie Freiberg
(Freiberg University of Mining and Technology), TU Dresden etc.
Scientific institutions
Wirtschaftsförderung Sachsen
Lignite in Saxony
Deposits of pit & quarry raw materials in Saxony
Mineability assessment
Ore and spar deposits in Saxony
Appendix (maps)


Raw material economy – an opportunity for the Free State of Saxony


Raw material economy – an opportunity for the Free State of Saxony


Raw material economy – an opportunity for the Free State of Saxony


Saxon State Ministry for Economic Affairs,
Labour and Transport
Wilhelm-Buck-Strasse 2
01097 Dresden
Department 46, Mining, Environmental Affairs
Press date:
09|2012, amended version 08|2017
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