Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
(= detailed version of LEHMANN (2010): Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony. – World of Mining –
Surface & Underground, 62, 1/2010, 38-47, GDMB Informationsgesellschaft mbH; in february 2011 actualized/supplemented)
Between 2006 – 2008 tangible geological and economical data of the most important
occurrences and deposits of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony were compiled. For the 139
occurrences and deposits included in this data base reserves and resources of 31 elements
and industrial minerals are reported based on the categorisation used in the former German
Democratic Republic. This resource resp. reserve categories are based on standards that
may be still used today to assess the validity of the data. The significance of this classification
under market economic conditions needs to be critically reassessed. Such a reassessment
may result in significant increases or reductions of reserve/resource figures. The data base
illustrates the availability of large reserves/resources in known deposit districts with significant
brown fields exploration potential. This renders medium-term reactivation of the metal and
industrial mineral mining industry in Saxony likely.
1. Project ROHSA
Funded by the Saxonian Ministry of Economy and Labour in the period from 2006 – 2008 the
Geokompetenzzentrum Freiberg e.V. (GKZ) compiled available data on the most important
occurrences and deposits of metal as well as industrial minerals (fluorite, barite) in Saxony.
Using the acronym ROHSA (Rohstoffe
Sachsen) it was the aim of this exercise to critically
reassess the known resources/reserves for market economic conditions. Data were sourced
mostly from the geological archives of the State Office of Environment, Agriculture and
Geology (LfULG) of Saxony as well as the WISMUT GmbH and several other institutions.
Geological and other tangible parameters (infrastructure, processability etc.) were captured in
a database. Because of the duty to observe confidentiality, the data base as a whole is not
available to the public. A simplified schematic overview (referred to as „Steckbriefkatalog“) is,
however, available for download at the internet address
. Five occurrences/deposits of particular significance (tin/tungsten Pöhla-Globenstein,
fluorite/barite Schönbrunn-Bösenbrunn, tin Gottesberg, tungsten Delitzsch, barite
Brunndöbra) were described in more detail („Steckbriefe“). Geological descriptions are
supplemented by summaries of global prices and production data of selected commodities as
well as of available extraction and mineral processing methods (GKZ, 2008).
2. Classification of mineral reserves/resources
The grading of reserves and resources in the former German Democratic Republic (G.D.R.)
was based on a legal framework for the classification of reserves/resources of mineral raw
materials that was introduced in 1956 – with subsequent updates (S
LABY & WILKE, 2005).
Within this framework instructions and guidelines were published for selected raw materials
OCHMANN, 1979). The classification distinguished „proven“ (A-, B-, C
- and C
) reserves
from “probable” (not yet verified, prognostic) resources (D
and D
). Fundamental to this
classification were the level of exploration (kind and extent of exploration data available) and
geological understanding (level of interpretation of data).
Proven reserves were marked as assets (“Bilanzvorräte” in capital letters: A, B etc.), if they
matched the national economic demands („conditions“) and were suitable for exploitation. If
they did not match the conditions, they became marked as non assets (“Außerbilanzvorräte”
with lower case letters: c
, c
, until 1979 also a and b).

LEHMANN (2010):
Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
Instructions specifying exactly the requirements that had to be met for different grades existed
for example for fluorite and barite, copper, lead-zinc as well as iron deposits. It is necessary
to stress that updates of these instructions were released from time to time; assessment of
any reserve calculation, therefore, requires careful consideration of directives valid at the
publication date.
The term „perspective masses“ (shortened: pM), that was applied mostly to fluorite/barite
(spars) occurrences, corresponded to the term prognostic resources regarding the degree of
investigation. However, for these resources sufficient data were not available to determine the
technology and cost of extraction and processing (T
In cases in which reserves/resources are in the source documents not defined any more
precise than “confirmed” or “probable”, they will be denoted in this paper as „C“ or „D“. In
absence of any accurate classification the term „other resource“ is choosen.
Ore deposits are parts of geological occurrences of raw materials that permit commercial
exploitation by means of quantity and quality of the contained resource (S
2005). However, since ores and spars have not been exploited in Saxony since 1991 and
since no bankable feasibility studies have been concluded with positive results in this period
of time, the use of the term occurrence - rather than deposit – will be used in the following.
3. Reserves/Resources of ores and fluorite/barite
The ROHSA study includes 139 occurrences covering 33 metalliferous resources and 6
industrial mineral resources. Because of a lack of certain data (for instance absolute
concentration data for platin group elements) only 28 elements and 3 industrial minerals are
included in reserve/resource statements (tab. 1).
Table 1:
Reserves/Resources of ores and fluorite/barite (including sulphur) in metric tons; see chapter
2 for definitions; data source (GKZ, 2008) and own calculations; world mine production after
EBER et al. (2009) with exception of indium
), niobium
and tantalum
); resources
of rare earths (RE) as RE
; world mine production of RE after WEBER et al. (2009) is
calculated for „rare earths concentrates“

LEHMANN (2010):
Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
The examination of the reports showed, that calculations of reserves/resources of certain
occurrences were too optimistic. Therefore, a critical analysis of each case is necessary,
taking into consideration all currently available data.
Below cumulative reserve/resource data will be presented for typical groups of commodities.
The geographic locations to the occurrences mentioned are available for download (see
internet adress above). Detailed information regarding ore genesis, geological setting etc. are
available in H
ÖSEL & LEHMANN (2009) and KUSCHKA (2009).
With regards to tonnages of reserves/resources available in Saxony, alumina, iron and sulfur
occupy top positions (fig. 1).
Figure 1:
Reserves/resources of alumina, iron and sulphur in Saxony.
The resources/reserves of alumina were calculated in 1985 and relate to the occurrences
Guttau and Kleinsaubernitz in the region of Lusatia. Here Al-rich clays (containing up to 30%
) occur (MINISTERIUM FÜR GEOLOGIE, 1985). Reserves/Resources of iron (magnetite) are
predominantly contained in skarn occurrences (Delitzsch, Pöhla-Tellerhäuser). The amount of
sulfur was estimated for the stratabound „Felsit“ mineralisation in the area of Großschirma.
Iron and sulphur would, however, only be by-products of the extraction of other metals (i.e.
Sn, W or Zn). Production of Al from aluminous clays in Lusatia is for the foreseeable future
certainly unrealistic.
All other commodities comprise maximal some 300.000 t per reserve/resource categorie (fig.

LEHMANN (2010):
Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
Figure 2:
Reserves/Resources of selected metals and metalloids
Reserves/Resources of the base metals (Pb, Cu, Zn and Sn) are in the order of some
hundred kilotons (kt) (fig. 3).

LEHMANN (2010):
Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
Figure 3:
Reserves/Resources of selected base metals
The dominant portion of the reported reserves of lead are contained in the Kupferschiefer
(copper shale) of the Schleife deposit (approx. 160 kt Pb c
) (HENNIG ET AL., 1974).
Exploitation appears likely only as a by-product of copper (approx. 78 kt of Cu c
) and zinc
(approx. 62 kt of Zn c
) mining. Pb-rich polymetallic vein-type occurrences are located in the
district Halsbrücke – Freiberg – Brand-Erbisdorf (approx. 140 kt C
reserves of Pb)
OHRLACK ET AL., 1969).
The available reserves/resources of copper include not only the Kupferschiefer, but also the
greisen occurrence Gottesberg (approx. 60 kt C
of Cu) (SIPPEL ET AL., 1983). The 45 kt of Cu
reported for the stratiform occurrence Klingenthal is speculative and requires further detailed
investigation (S
IPPEL ET AL., 1985).
Major reserves/resources of zinc are contained in stratabound polymetallic sulphide deposits.
Of particular importance is the area Pöhla – Hämmerlein – Tellerhäuser – Antonsthal -
Breitenbrunn with overall C
reserves of 250 kt of Zn as well as further 95 kt prognostic
resources (F
RITSCH, 2002; WISMUT GMBH, 1999). Vein-type occurrences in the Freiberg –
Brand-Erbisdorf district contain significant reserves/resources, of which approx. 150 kt of Zn
are verified and 37 kt of Zn prognostic (R
OHRLACK ET AL., 1969).
Deposits and occurrences of tin in the eastern Erzgebirge and and Vogtland were extensively
explored and exploited in the Ehrenfriedersdorf und Altenberg mines until 1991. Especially
voluminous remaining reserves/resources are contained in the occurrences Gottesberg
(greisen-type orebody, approx. 100 kt C
of Sn, SIPPEL ET AL., 1983), the area Pöhla –
Hämmerlein – Tellerhäuser - Antonsthal - Breitenbrunn (skarn-type deposits, ca. 205 kt C
and 83 kt of prognostic resource of Sn; F
RITSCH, 2002; WISMUT GMBH, 1999), the area
Altenberg – Sadisdorf (greisen-type deposit, approx. 120 kt C
and approx. 20 kt prognostic
Sn content; W
EINHOLD, 2002; BERGER, 1980; FELIX ET AL., 1990; HÖSEL, 1990; HÖSEL ET AL.,
1990) as well as possibly the stratabound „Felsit“ mineralisation in the district Großschirma-
Halsbrücke (sulphide mineralisation, approx. 70 kt pM; H
OTH ET AL., 1985). Although the
contained reserves/resources are very considerable, exploitation is inhibited by low grades

LEHMANN (2010):
Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
(mostly ≤ 0,5 % Sn), fine grain size (mostly << 1 mm) as well as the intimate intergrowths with
deleterious minerals (for instance calcite).
The alkali metals lithium, rubidium and caesium occur in concentrations of economic interest
in dark mica (zinnwaldite-group) of greisen-type deposits. Reserve/resource estimates exist
for some occurrences in the eastern Erzgebirge (fig. 4).
Figure 4:
Reserves/Resources of selected alkali metals
Especially remarkable are Altenberg (33 kt Li and 46 kt Rb of C
; < 1 kt Cs of other resource;
EINHOLD, 2002; RÖLLIG, 1990), Zinnwald (48 kt Li, 45 kt Rb and 1 kt Cs of prognostic
resources; G
RUNEWALD, 1978) as well as Schenkenshöhe northern of Altenberg (35 kt Li and
56 kt Rb of prognostic resources; < 1 kt Cs of other resource; R
ÖLLIG, 1990).
Among the ferro-alloy metals tungsten has the greatest importance in Saxony (fig. 5).

LEHMANN (2010):
Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
Figure 5:
Reserves/Resources of selected ferro-alloy metals
For the area Bernsbach to the east of Aue a large amount of prognostic tungsten resource
was estimated in the 1980’s. However, this needs to be verified, similar to the 23 kt of
prognostic (D
) resource of the occurrence Antonsthal (FRITSCH, 2002). Both are scheelite-
bearing skarn occurrences, similar to the occurrences in the area Pöhla-Globenstein (ca. 34
kt; W
ISMUT GMBH, 1999) and Delitzsch. For the latter occurrence resource figures had to be
adjusted downward as a result of a detailed exploration campaign to approx. 17 kt (D) at
subeconomic grades (ca. 0,2 % W) (K
AMPE ET AL., 1990). Prospects for economic exploitation
of W in Saxony are more likely as a by-product of tin exploitation, with wolframite as the main
W-mineral. Estimates for the Gottesberg occurrence yielded 5,5 kt C
1983), similar are reserves/resources for Sadisdorf (4 kt; F
ELIX ET AL., 1990) and Altenberg (9
kt; W
EINHOLD, 2002). Worthy of a more detailed assessment appears the possible
exploitation of W-occurrences in the areas around Aue-Bärengrund and Weißbach by small-
scale mining operations, as previously performed at the now exhausted Zschorlau deposit. At
these small deposits recovery of wolframite as the dominant W-ore mineral would be much
easier than concentration of scheelite from skarn occurrences. As in previous examples,
verification of mineral resources/reserves is considered essential.
Data for the abundance of tantalum are available only for two occurrences of tin in the
eastern Erzgebirge. In the Schenkenshöhe occurrence Ta is associated with mica, with
approx. 0,01 % fo Ta in the ore, and a total amount of approx. 1 kt of Ta (other resource)
ÖLLIG ET AL., 1990). Cassiterites of the Altenberg deposit, on the other hand, contain ca.
0,05 % Ta (B
OLDUAN, 1971).
The carbonatite complex Delitzsch is the only occurrence for which niobium
resources/reserves have been reported (approx. 7 kt D
+ D
of Nb). Analyses of cassiterites
from Altenberg with 0,15 % Nb are from the year 1971 (B
OLDUAN, 1971).
Reserve/resource estimates of a several kt of nickel exist for occurrences of nickel hydro-
silicates associated with serpentinite in the the saxonian granulite massif (“Granulitgebirge”).
Most important in the past has been the district Callenberg-Kuhschnappel. The amount of
remaining and untouched reserves/resources depends largely on the future technology of
processing of the low-grade ores that contain 0,X % Ni.

LEHMANN (2010):
Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
Subordinate amounts of molybdenum in the form of molybdenite frequently accompanies
occurrences of tin/tungsten in Saxony. Some 3 kt reserves of the C categories of Mo have
been verified in the tin ores of the Altenberg deposit. The tungsten occurrence Delitzsch
contains also a resource of approx. 1,3 kt Mo (D-category) as molybdoscheelite.
Figure 6:
Reserves/Resources of selected electronic metals
Sphalerite in the vein-type deposits of the Halsbrücke – Freiberg – Brand-Erbisdorf district
contain between 4 and 360 ppm Ga (R
OHRLACK ET AL., 1969). Applying the latter value to the
approx. 15 kt of remaining reserves of sphalerite (C
) in the district Halsbrücke would yield
some 5,6 t of contained Ga. The same sphalerite would also yield approx. 2,2 t of Ge
(average content of Ge in sphalerite of Halsbrücke is approx. 150 ppm). Germanium is also
present in concentrations of ca. 30 ppm in the tungsten ores of the Delitzsch occurrence,
corresponding to a prognostic resource of approximately 200 t of Ge (calculation based on
data of K
AMPE ET AL., 1990 and SCHENKE, 1995).
Currently known reserves/resources of bismuth (occurring mostly as native bismuth metal)
are predominantly related to tin occurrences of the Erzgebirge. The Gottesberg occurrence,
for example, contains an estimated 7 kt C
reserves of Bi (SIPPEL ET AL., 1983); Altenberg, on
the other hand, contains still ca. 4 kt of Bi (W
EINHOLD, 2002).
Polymetallic base metal ores of the Erzgebirge are unusually enriched in indium, rendering
this region as one of most indium-enriched ore provinces globally (S
2005). Substituted especially into sphalerite, In may gain economic importance in the district
of Freiberg and in the skarn occurrences of the western Erzgebirge. Estimates exist for
Pöhla-Globenstein, where approx. 100 t of In have been reported as measured resources
(“Außerbilanz” c
) (HÖSEL ET AL., 2002). Containing an average of 0,1 % In (ROHRLACK ET
. 1969; SEIFERT & SANDMANN, 2005) the remaining 128 kt reserves of sphalerite (C
) of
Freiberg would yield some 130 t of In. Smaller amounts (approx. 50 t C
of In) are estimated
for Brand-Erbisdorf (approx. 97 kt sphalerite with an average of 0,05 % In).
Small amounts of cadmium (each with a few tenth to a couple of hundred tons) are contained
in sphalerite of skarn occurrences in the western Erzgebirge (area Pöhla – Tellerhäuser)
ISMUT GMBH, 1999).

LEHMANN (2010):
Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
Figure 7:
Reserves/Resources of selected precious metals
Among the precious metals the high silver concentrations of the vein-type deposits of the
Erzgebirge have been of global importance. A total of some 8 kt of Ag metal have been
extracted from these deposits (K
RUSE, 1980). Estimates of remaining reserves/resources are
in the range of some hundreds of tons (fig. 7) and are available, amongst others, for some
vein- and skarn-type occurrences. A verification of the reported reserves/resources is
required in every case. Most promising seems the polymetallic veins of the occurrence Brand-
Erbisdorf as well as the Kupferschiefer occurrence in the area Weißwasser – Schleife.
Even less reliable are data concerning the occurrence and distribution of gold in Saxony.
Although it is well known that gold is widely distributed in geologically recent fluvial sediments
virtually nothing is known about its primary occurrence (L
EHMANN, 2010a). The only resource
estimate currently available is for the Gottesberg tin greisen occurrence. Based on the
reported content of gold in sulphide concentratres an extractable amount of gold in the range
of some 800 kg was appraised (L
ANGE, 1983). Rather realistic appears gold production as a
by-product oft gravel and sand extraction especially in the Elbe-river gravels.

LEHMANN (2010):
Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
Figure 8:
Reserves/Resources of selected rare earth elements (as RE
) and Sc
The only occurrence of reare earth elements (RE) in Saxony included in the ROHSA study is
the carbonatite intrusion at Delitzsch/Storkwitz, near Leipzig. Finely disseminated bastnaesite
as RE- and pyrochlor as a Nb-carrier occur in dolomitic matrix in this intrusion. Ta-contents in
the pyrochlor are low, in the order of ca. 0,X %. Ce (48%), followed by La (27%), Nd (14 %)
and Pr (5%) are the most common RE; the remaining elements occur in concentrations of ≤
1,X %. As prognostic resource (D
) some 20 kt RE
were estimated down to -600m NN
ÖLLIG ET AL., 1984). A similar amount of D
resource may be contained in the intrusion
between -600 and -900m NN (fig. 8).
Recent investigations of Scandium contents revealed remarkable concentrations in the
eastern Erzgebirge region. Basing upon an average of 0,2 % Sc in cassiterite and 0,3 % in
wolframite resp. (K
EMPE & WOLF, 2006), some 150 t (C
+ C
) plus 30 t (prognostic and other
resources) Sc is contained in tin-tungsten ores of Sadisdorf, Altenberg and Zinnwald.
Questions of processability are not discussed yet.

LEHMANN (2010):
Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
Figure 9:
Reserves/Resources of selected other metals/metalloids
Ores containing significant concentrations of antimony have been exploited in the past in
Saxony, in particular at Bräunsdorf near Freiberg. Resource estimates, however, exist only
for the occurrence Dorfchemnitz – Hormersdorf. Exploration drilling documented veinlet-
hosted mineralisation with bertierite and antimonite to depths of 1.400 m containing an
estimated 14 kt antimony (F
RITSCH, 2002) (fig. 9). This estimate would, however, have to be
verified by detailed exploration. Of note are selenium contents between 500 and 900 ppm in
the wall rocks to this occurrence (B
OLDUAN, 1971).
Arsenic – mostly contained in arsenopyrite - is a typical minor commodity that accompanies
tin in occurrences of the Erzgebirge. Resource estimates are available, for example, for
Altenberg (30 kt of As reserves of C
; WEINHOLD, 2002) as well as Ehrenfriedersdorf
Northwest (approx. 16 kt of As of C
; HÖSEL ET AL., 1985; actualized with HÖSEL, 1994).
Tourmaline ist the most frequent carrier of boron in Saxonian ore deposits. This mineral is
widely spread especially in the contact aureoles around granitic intrusions of the western
Erzgebirge. Resource estimates are, among others, available for the locality Sauschwemme
at Johanngeorgenstadt (approx. 11 kt, other resource). At this locality a combined extraction
with tungsten (approx. 1,5 kt) and tin (ca. 4 kt) from different soft rocks was considered
ESCH, 1979).

LEHMANN (2010):
Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
Figure 10:
Reserves/Resources of uranium
Between 1946 and 1990 the former G.D.R. ranked among the world’s largest uranium
producers with a share of perhaps 13 % of total global production. Deposits in Saxony
contributed some 125 kt of U to this production. The former Königstein mine, which is
currently being flooded, contains remaining reserves (B + C) of 3,2 kt of U as well as some
4,2 kt of U of prognostic resources. The occurrence Tellerhäuser contains some 750 t
uranium reserve (C
), as well as some 4,5 kt of U of prognostic resources (D
+ D
) and
the northwestern flank with a further estimated 6 kt of U resource (W
ISMUT GMBH, 1999). The
knowledge of prognostic resources contained in occurrences of northwestern Saxony (Kyhna-
Schenkenberg and Serbitz, each with some kt of U) is low. The same applies for resources of
the area of Neumark-Hauptmannsgrün (ca. 2,3 kt of U) as well as Bernsbach (approx. 4 kt of
U) (fig. 10).

LEHMANN (2010):
Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
Figure 11:
Reserves/Resources of fluorite and barite
Fluorite and barite were produced until the end of existence of the G.D.R. in the mines
Schönbrunn/Bösenbrunn and Brunndöbra. Because of the particular economic relevance of
these raw materials extensive exploration efforts were undertaken in Saxony, but cut short as
a result of the German reunification. There are considerable reserves/resources remaining in
the formerly operating mines of Schönbrunn/Bösenbrunn and Brunndöbra (fluorite in
Schönbrunn: 221 kt C
+ 668 kt C
+ 103 kt D
; fluorite Bösenbrunn: 18 kt C
+ 407 kt C
310 kt D
- KUSCHKA & HAHN, 1996; barite Brunndöbra: 451 kt C + 1.745 kt D - ILGNER &
HAHN, 1998). In addition, there are voluminous untouched reserves/resources known in the
middle and eastern Erzgebirge. This includes, for example, Niederschlag (some 1.400 kt C +
fluorite – KUSCHKA, 2002), Augustusburg-Zschopau, Langenstriegis, Halsbrücke, Brand-
Erbisdorf, Lichtenberg-Weißenborn, Teichhaus, Schlottwitz as well as some further localities,
each with a few hundred up to more than a thousand kt barite and/or fluorite. Although they
may be of significant economic importance according to the available exploration results,
these occurrences have not been investigated further since 1990 (K
USCHKA, 2009) (fig. 11).

LEHMANN (2010):
Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
Figure 12:
Geographic overview of the most important ore and fluorite/barite occurrences
according to GKZ (2008) and own investigations
Figure 12 shows the geographic distribution of the most important ore and fluorite/barite
4. Perspective
During the recent mineral resource boom 14 new exploration licenses were granted in
Saxony (since 2006). An evaluation of the submitted applications by the State Geological
Survey revealed in some cases substantial deficits. Deficits encountered ranged from the
confusion of relevant ore minerals (for instance wolframite and scheelite) and inadequate
exploration programs for too large areas to serious errors in planning (e.g., field limits defined
directly over most prospective ground; exploration of a commodity in areas verified free of it).
Another important problem has been an underestimate of the complexities of the required
mineral processing. As yet, the expectation of an imminent resurgence of metalliferous ore
mining in Saxony has not been fulfilled – a fact that is also due to the rapid decrease of world
market prices for raw materials since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008.
A reduction of the global need for primary mineral resources is, at present, not to be
expected. Only the future will show, if demand and exhaustion of (high-grade) deposits can
be met by increasing efficiency at the use of primary and secondary raw materials as well as
the search and exploitation of deposits of increasingly lower grade. At least some specialized
metals, such as rare earths or indium, are marked by rapidly increasing demand and rising
prices. This could render mining of polymetallic base metal ores more profitable.
Small occurrences, for example of tungsten in the district Aue-Lauter, Wiesenburg or nickel in
upper Lusatia, have as yet received little attention. From the viewpoint of mineral processing
these occurrences are, however, preferable as compared to currently known larger

LEHMANN (2010):
Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
occurrences that are characterised by fine grain size, intimate intergrowths, the presence of
deleterious minerals or silicates as ore minerals.
The abrupt termination of ore and fluorite/barite mining associated with German reunification
in 1990 resulted in stagnation of our knowledge concerning ore deposits in Saxony – beside a
few exceptions (for example the Kupferschiefer and Cu-Ni-mineralisation of Lusatia;
reconnaissance studies regarding the distribution and abundance of gold in sediments and
hard rocks). The short-lived mineral rush between 2006 and 2008 has - to a large extent -
ebbed away. However, the rush highlighted the need for research, based on the currently still
available personnal/intellectual expertise and material (archives, drill core collection). The
ROHSA-Project created a starting point to further investigations. It has become clear that
there is little reason to assume that Saxony is depleted of resources of ores and
fluorite/barite. Despite rather intensive geological exploration of the state territory in the past,
the available primary geological data represent only „pinpricks“ into the Earth’s crust – they
are insufficient to cover the mineral deposit potential of Saxony. The zone of the Earth’s crust
economically accessible with today´s mining methods extends beyond the existing mineral
exploration data for most commodities. As an example may serve the deep-seated mafic
intrusion in Lusatia that has often been regarded as a possible source of disseminated Cu-Ni-
mineralisation at surface. The presence of such a deep-seated body has been invoked since
the 1980’s, based on close similarities in geological setting to world class orthomagmatic Cu-
Ni deposits. Geophysical exploration and cost-intensive exploration drilling necessary to test
the presence of this body has not been carried out yet. An initial start-up could, for example,
be represented by a research drill core, at least 2.000 m deep that would also be useful in
other context (geoscientific research, assessment of the potential utilisation of deep
geothermal energy in the region).
Less expensive investigations could focus on the assessment of the economic potential of
fluorite/barite occurrences in the middle and eastern Erzgebirge, the stratabound „Felsit“-type
polymetallic mineralisation to the north of Freiberg or the scheelite of the eastern Erzgebirge.
The exploitation of gold as a by-product of the extraction of sands and gravels requires a
cost-saving processing technology, a problem solved since 2007 at Rheinzabern in the Rhine
valley. In Saxony especially the sediments of the Elbe river seem to be suitable, because the
gold occurs in relatively large flakes (median grain size between 100 and 200 μm) and
sand/gravel are produced at a level that will guarantee the necessary throughput.
Reconnaissance investigations by the LfULG in selected open pit mines yielded promising
results. On the contrary (glaci-) fluvial sediments of other regions seem to be less suitable
because of lower gold contents and finer grain size.
Dr. Uwe Lehmann
Department of Economic Geology
Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology

LEHMANN (2010):
Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
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Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
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Reserves and resources of ores and fluorite/barite in Saxony
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