Virtual coal exit: New EU project for recycling former mining areas

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Many European partners from industry and science are working together in the “TRIM4Post-Mining” project. The common goal: an integrated planning tool for the transition from coal extraction to intelligent reuse.

How do you turn a former mining area into a revitalized landscape? In order to be able to simulate such scenarios comprehensively in the future, the new "TRIM4Post-Mining" project is now starting. The Research Center of Post-Mining is involved. European experts from industry and research are jointly developing an integrated information modeling system to plan the farewell to coal virtually - from active mining to the reuse of the disused mining area. This should also help to ensure that valuable materials can be recovered from old dumps in the lignite and hard coal industry. The scientists at the Research Center of Post-Mining in Bochum work closely with the TU Freiberg, the TU Delft and the companies Beak Consultants, MIBRAG, Special Industries and Eijkelkamp SonicsSampdrill. The project is part of the EU-funded Research Fund Coal and Steel (RCFS).

How can a former mining landscape be reused? The scientists want to simulate this in the EU project “TRIM4Post-Mining”. (Photo: THGA / Volker Wiciok)

Even virtual and augmented reality are used, explains Dr. Stefan Möllerherm from the Research Center: “First we have to feed our planned database with a lot of information. Modern surveillance systems such as satellites, high-resolution drone images or multi-sensors help us with this." At the end there is an interactive TRIM, the "Transition Information Modeling System", which enables us to make detailed predictions and derive risk management from them", hopes Dr. Möllerherm.

For a holistic picture the scientists combine satellite images, multispectral drone images and geo-sensors in an integrated manner. (© THGA/Volker Wiciok)

Not only the technical effects of post-mining can be simulated in this way, the planning system should also be able to individually check the social and ecological feasibility later. In this way, areas can also be identified that need to be particularly renovated or monitored over the long term. "There are many requirements, especially when the old areas shall be used for agricultural purposes, for local recreation or for the industry," says Dr. Möllerherm. With "TRIM4Post-Mining", the post-mining experts want to make the comprehensive planning processes and testing procedures much easier.

This project has received funding from the Research Fund for Coal and Steel under grant agreement No 899278.


Dr. Stefan Möllerherm
Technische Hochschule
Georg Agricola University
Herner Straße 45
44787 Bochum
Building 2, room 210

Phone 0234 968 327268 3272