Plenty of headframes can still be found in the former mining zones in Europe. These silent witnesses of a flourishing mining industry era are often lovingly maintained by local authorities or even private clubs. Many former pits have disappeared from the landscape completely. Many have been partially destructed with only little devices or buildings kept as industry monuments. The well-known coal mines Zeche Zollern in Dortmund and Zeche Zollverein in Essen on the other side have been restored over many years and converted in spacious industry museums which call the attention of numerous visitors every year. The deepest coal mines however are located in Saarland and in Ibbenbüren. In Cornwall, England the predominant mines were tin, copper, and clay mines. The pits were often located directly at the coast, with adits that led more than two kilometers under the sea. 

Overview

Coal Mines in Ruhrgebiet, Germany


1. Coal Mine Zollverein, Essen

Coal Mine Pit Zeche Zollverein, Essen, Ruhrgebiet, Germany with winding tower Doppelbock headframe

Zeche Zollverein was a former coal mine located in the Northern part of Essen in Germany. It extracted coal from underground from 1857 until its closure in 1986. The pit was founded by the industrialist Franz Haniel. His main target was to ensure the supply of the raw material coal to his coking plants and ironworks plants. In peak times the coal mine extracted 3.6m tons of coal and employed up to 6.900 workers (1937). The mine suffered only little damage in World War II and raised to one of the largest coal mines in Western Germany during the 1950ties. After severe reduction of sales at the beginning of the 80ties, decision was taken in 1983 to give up the location Zollverein. The pit was closed on December 23, 1986. Already during the process of closure the coal mine was declared listed monument. After the closure the country North-Rhine Westfalia bought the premises around Shaft XII and started to restore the industrial plant. This process finished in 1999. The coal mine Zollverein as well as the nearby coking plant Zollverein were inscribed into the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in December, 2001. Parts of the former coal washery were used for exhibitions later, starting in 2006. The museum Ruhrland which was located in the south area of Essen moved into the premises of the former coal washery of Zeche Zollverein and reopened exhibition in 2010 on a permanent basis under the label "Ruhrmuseum". The color and light installations of the staircase to the entrance door at 24 m height are impressive, not only for photographers like me. 

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Zeche Zollverein

Location: Gelsenkirchener Str. 181, 45309 Essen, Germany

GPS 51.490040, 7.041682

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Date: February 15, 2015, 5:10pm

Exif: 24mm, f/8, ISO 100, 1/100 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

2. Coal Mine Zollern, Dortmund

Coal Mine Pit Zeche Zollern, Dortmund, Ruhrgebiet, Germany with entrance door to the machine hall

Entrance door to the machine hall of coal mine Zeche Zollern in Dortmund, Germany. Coal mine Zollern is a former pit in Dortmund, extracting black coal from underground. It closed business in 1955 already. The premises are used nowadays as industrial museum. Central element of the permanent exhibition is the machine hall, which was the first industrial plant to be declared listed monument in Germany. The architecture of the plant is mind-blowing: Brick Gothic combined with Steel Truss and playful doors and windows of style Art Nouveau. Who would expect such details in an industrial plant extracting coal?

 

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Entrance to the machine hall

Loction: Rhader Weg 8, 44388 Dortmund, Germany

GPS 51.518291, 7.332415

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Date: May 12, 2019, 4:59pm

Exif: 35mm, f/8,0, ISO 200, 1/80 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

3. Coal Mine Ewald, Herten

Coal Mine Pit Zeche Erwin, Herten, Ruhrgebiet, Germany with winding tower headframe

Doppelbock headframe over shaft 7. Zeche Ewald is a former coal mine in Herten, Germany. The pit was closed in 2000. In the following years the plant was changed to a commercial area, providing premises to many enterprises of the region. In 2009 the travesty theatre RevuePalast Ruhr opened business in the former district heat station. Since 2013 German television ARD is broadcasting the TV show Sportschau-Club from the underground club "Untertage Bar".

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Zeche Ewald

Location: Ewaldstraße 261, 45699 Herten, Germany

GPS 51.571898, 7.144621

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF24-105mm f/4 IS USM

Date: April 24, 2018, 3:31pm

Exif: 35mm, f/8.0, ISO 100, 1/250 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

4. Coal Mine Prosper-Haniel, Bottrop

Coal Mine Pit Zeche Prosper-Haniel, Bottrop, Ruhrgebiet, Germany with winding tower Doppelbock headframe

The coal mine Prosper-Haniel started 1856 to drill Shaft I. The extraction of coal started in 1863. At the beginning of the 1870ties Shaft II was constructed. The Malakowtower is still existing today (see gallery). Extraction started in 1875. Further shafts 3, 4, and 5 followed in the years until 1893. Many pit men from Poland were hired to cover the huge demand of workers in Bottrop. In peak times 15.000 employees were working for the mine. The town Bottrop nearly doubled the number of residents between 1900 and 1910. Shafts 6, 7, and 8 started between 1908 and 1921.

 

The photo shows the shaft Franz Haniel with headframe. The photo was taken from the slag heap Haniel next to the shaft. It was constructed in 1921. But water was breaking through and the whole mine was flooded, even the headframe sank into the hole and disappeared, the shaft was lost. Work started again in 1936 only, extraction of coal could finally begin in 1941 at a depth of 600 m.     

 

The mining of coal moved over the years towards the north. In 1975 they started to close the southern shafts which lost profitability. After Ibbenbüren was closed, Prosper-Haniel was actually the last active coal mine in Germany. It closed business on December 21, 2018. 

   

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Zeche Prosper-Haniel bei Nacht

Location: Fernewaldstraße, 46242 Bottrop, Germany

GPS 51.544426, 6.885678

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 ZE

Date: December 28, 2018, 5:46pm

Exif: 100mm, f/2.0, ISO 100, 1,0 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

5. Coal Mine Osterfeld, Oberhausen

Coal Mine Pit Zeche Osterfeld, Oberhausen, Ruhrgebiet, Germany with winding tower headframe

Shaft Paul-Reusch was part of the coal mine Osterfeld in Oberhausen, Germany. At its time the pit was one of the biggest in the Ruhrgebiet. After more than 100 years, it was closed in 1992. In 1999 the city of Oberhausen organized a garden and park exhibition called Oberhausener Landesgartenschau or short OLGA on the premises of the former plant. In the background behind the trees you can see the former coal mixing plant of the mine Osterfeld, better known as Oberhausener Gartendom (garden dome of Oberhausen). The building was reconstructed with a lot of effort for the purpose of the OLGA 1999. It was used until 2000 as garden center by a private investor. In the following years the place was abandoned and decayed. The building is presently being restored by the city of Oberhausen.    

  

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Paul Reusch Schacht

Location: Zum Steigerhaus 2, 46117 Oberhausen

GPS 51.503171, 6.876364

Camera: Canon EOS 350D

Lens: 28.0-200mm

Date: March 17, 2013, 2:16pm

Exif: 28mm, f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/1250 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

6. Coal Mine Hansa, Dortmund

Coal Mine Pit Zeche Hansa, Dortmund, Ruhrgebiet, Germany with winding tower headframe

Zeche Hansa is a coal mine in Dortmund, Germany, which started to extract coal from underground in the year 1855. Severe mining disasters happened in 1940 (52 dead bodies) and in 1944 (95 dead). Protesting pit men succeeded in getting postponed the planned closure of the pit in 1967. The commercial extraction of coal went on until 1975. In the years after research was done to explore hydro-mechanical extraction technology. The last mining accident happened March 1979. The final closure of the mine took place in November 1980. On the photo you can see the steel headframe of the pit Hansa, which served to pump pit water still until 2014. 

  

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Zeche Hansa

Location: Rohwedderstraße 7, 44369 Dortmund

GPS 51.537850, 7.416525

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF16-35mm f4L IS USM

Date: July 13, 2019, 5:24pm

Exif: 26mm, f/8, ISO 100, 1/160 sec., -1/3 

© Christian Twehues

7. Coal Mine Minister Stein, Dortmund

Coal Mine Pit Minister Stein, Dortmund, Ruhrgebiet, Germany with Hammerkopfturm winding tower headframe

The coal mine Minister Stein in Dortmund, Germany was founded in 1856. In the 1940ties the pit was the biggest one in the Ruhrgebiet with an annual extraction volume of 3,7 m tons of coal. 6.800 workers were employed at Minister Stein. When closed in 1987 it was the last active mine in Dortmund. The characteristic Hammerhead Tower of shaft IV is located in the district Eving in Dortmund. Common headframes like the Tomson headframe or the English headframe use a hoist room aside of the headframe. The cable from the hoist is switched over wheels located at the top of the headframe to finally lead down into the shaft. Mining companies tried to avoid high maintenance cost of head frames by using a winding tower instead.  The hoist room is placed on top of the tower, no wheel is used to switch the cable from the hoist into the shaft. Maintenance cost is much lower, however the additional weight had to be supported by fortified brick or concrete walls. Winding towers where the hoist room on top is protuding the tower walls below are called Hammerhead Towers. 

  

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Zeche Minister Stein

Location: Deutsche Str. 5, 44339 Dortmund

GPS 51.546891, 7.464083

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF16-35mm f4L IS USM

Date: July 13, 2019, 6:07pm

Exif: 31mm, f/8, ISO 100, 1/250 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

8. Coal Mine Gneisenau, Derne

Coal Mine Pit Gneisenau, Derne, Ruhrgebiet, Germany with winding tower Doppelbock headframe and Tomson Bock headframe

The coal mine Gneisenau in Derne, Germany extracted coal from underground from 1873 onwards. The pit was closed in 1985. The coking plant next to the pit on the same premise was closed four years later. Shaft 4 was still used for man-riding for the central water system until 1999. Today there is a shopping mall on the former premises of the mine and the coking plant. The two headframes were preserved as industrial monument. Left you can see a Doppelbock headframe from 1933 (Shaft 4). On the right side there is a Tomson headframe, constructed on the roof of the hoist room. It was constructed in 1886 by the engineer Eugen Tomson and was a further development of the commonly used English headframe. The Tomson headframe of pit Gneisenau is the last existing headframe of its kind and the oldest steel headframe in the Ruhrgebiet. 

  

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Zeche Gneisenau

Location: Altenderner Str. 17-25, 44329 Dortmund

GPS 51.567041, 7.525281

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF16-35mm f4L IS USM

Date: July 13, 2019, 6:31pm

Exif: 21mm, f/8, ISO 100, 1/250 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

9. Coal Mine Erin, Castrop-Rauxel

Coal Mine Pit Erin, Castrop-Rauxel, Ruhrgebiet, Germany with Hammerkopfturm winding tower Erin 3 Shaft 3

The pit got its name from the Irish founder William Thomas Mulvany, who named the mine after the god Erin, also titular Saint of Irland (gallic: Eire). In 1866 he merged several smaller pits and in 1867 he started the commercial extraction of coal. Shaft Erin 3 was opened in 1899. On the photo you can see the hammerhead winding tower of Erin 3. The tower Erin 3 as well as the headframe over shaft 7, which opened 1951, were preserved as industrial monument. Both are illuminated at night, partially financed by private donations. During Christmas time a green laser beam runs across the night sky of Castrop-Rauxel from the winding tower Erin 3 to the headframe Erin 7 in 1.7 km distance.  

  

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Zeche Erin - Schacht 3

Location: Heinrichstraße 39-15, Castrop-Rauxel

GPS 51.550270, 7.328312

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF16-35mm f4L IS USM

Date: July 13, 2019, 10:28pm

Exif: 35mm, f/8, ISO 100, 20 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

10. Coal Mine Rheinbaben, Bottrop

coal mine pit Rheinbaben Bottrop, Ruhrgebiet, Germany, Old Gate

The coal mine Rheinbaben was founded 1894 by consolidating single smaller pits. The colliery started 1897 to drill the shafts Professor 3/4 in Bottrop-Eigen. In 1901 the newly founded Bergwerks AG Recklinghausen took over the mine. The coal mine was renamed Rheinbaben after the Prussian minister of finance Georg Freiherr von Rheinbaben. In 1927 Hibernia AG took over from Bergwerks AG. The coking plants were closed in the Thirties. The pit was severely damaged during World War II, extraction of coal could only be started again in 1947. The German coal crisis from 1957 hit Rheinbaben very early. After a re-evaluation of the coal deposits, decision was taken to abandon the pit. Rheinbaben was closed subsequently in March 1967.  On the premises of the former coal mine there is today a industrial and commercial area. The shafts were filled and sealed, No evidence of the former shafts can be found today. The only buildings that are still existing today is the Old Gate (shown in above photo), the machine hall and the administration building. All are used differently today. The Old Gate e.g. is used by musicians for rehearsals. Barred windows of the former wage department are still existing in the rear of the house.  

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Altes Torhaus Zeche Rheinbaben

Location: Rheinbabenstraße 75A, 46240 Bottrop, Germany

GPS 51.547418, 6.949768

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF16-35mm f4L IS USM

Date: July 30, 2019, 6:07pm

Exif: 24mm, f/8, ISO 100, 1/60 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

11. Coal Mine Hugo, Gelsenkirchen

coal mine pit Hugo, Gelsenkirchen, Ruhrgebiet, Germany, Tomson headframe

Coal Mine Hugo was founded in 1874. First test drilling in 1870-1872 proved the existence of sufficient coal in this area. In the years from 1881 to 1885 shaft 2 was built at Brößweg. On the photo you can see the Tomson Bock headframe, which was used on shaft 2. In 1906 a coking plant was inaugurated, but soon after closed again (1930). During the 1930ties the coal mine was extended massively. Heavy air raids in 1944 destroyed the plant to a large extend. Significant repair works were necessary. The mine reopened in 1947. Ruhrkohle AG took over the pit in 1968. During the 1970ties the coal mine again was largely extended. In this period a lot of pit men of coal mines which were closed, found work again in the pit Hugo. In 1993 pit Hugo was consolidated with pit Consolidation to the coal mine Hugo/Consolidation. In 1997 this pit was again consolidated with the coal mine Ewald in Herten. The extraction from field Hugo was done via Ewald, which finally closed in April 2000.      

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Zeche Hugo

Location: Devesestraße 45, 45897 Gelsenkirchen

GPS 51.569175, 7.035121

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF16-35mm f4L IS USM

Date: July 30, 2019, 7:16pm

Exif: 23mm, f/8, ISO 100, 1/125 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

12. Coal Mine Hannover, Bochum

coal mine pit Hugo, Gelsenkirchen, Ruhrgebiet, Germany, Tomson headframe

First test drilling at the coal mine Hannover took place in 1847. In 1856 Hannoversche Bergwerksgesellschaft Hostmann & Co. AG acquired the mining rights and started drilling a first shaft in 1857. On top of shaft 1 two Malakow Towers were built in 1859/1860. Due to the high start-up investment the company went into severe financial issues and was first taken over by Hannoversche Bergwerksgesellschaft zu Bochum in 1868, then later in 1872 by Alfred Krupp. 

 

Malakow Towers are fortified winding towers built on up to 3m thick brick walls. This was required to carry the heavy wheels and the heavy load of the elevation. The machine house of Malakow Towers is placed next to the tower. Later in time Malakow Towers were replaced by steel headframes, which were cheaper to build and needed less space than a winding tower. The coal mine Hannover used two Malakow Towers with a machine hall between both towers. The second tower was teared down in 1975/76.

 

During World War II 31 air raids provided severe damage to the plant. Reconstruction took until 1947. The coal of the pit Hannover was mainly used in the coking plants Hannover and Hannibal next to the coal mine. The pit was closed March 1973.  The plant is nowadays used as a museum. The only buildings still existing today are the Malakow Tower on shaft 1 and the machine hall next to it. 

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Foto: 

Titel: Zeche Hannover

Adresse: Günnigfelder Str. 251, 44793 Bochum

GPS 51.506543, 7.163460

Kamera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Objektiv: EF16-35mm f4L IS USM

Aufnahme: 30.07.2019, 20:02

Exif: 16mm, f/4, ISO 100, 1/125 sek. 

© Christian Twehues

13. Coal Mine Holland, Gelsenkirchen

coal mine pit Hugo, Gelsenkirchen, Ruhrgebiet, Germany, Tomson headframe

In 1855 Dutch Investors founded the company Bergbau AG Holland to explore the coal fields of Gelsenkirchen, Wattenscheid and surroundings. The coal seams in this area were not very yielding, many shafts were closed already during the 1960ties. The coal mine reached its peak in 1969 with an annual volume of 1.7m t coal and 3.000 employees. Pit Holland was finally closed in 1988. 

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Zeche Holland

Location: Emil-Weitz-Straße 2, 44866 Bochum, Germany

GPS 51.483566, 7.126339

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF16-35mm f4L IS USM

Date: July 30, 2019, 8:26pm

Exif: 20mm, f/8, ISO 100, 1/160 sec. + 1 

© Christian Twehues

 

14. Coal Mine Teutoburgia, Herne

coal mine pit Hugo, Gelsenkirchen, Ruhrgebiet, Germany, Tomson headframe

Coal mine Teutoburgia was founded in 1866 by the Irisch industrialist William Thomas Mulvany. The pit turned out not to be very productive and Mulvany sold it to the company Bergbau und Gussstahlfabrikation soon after. They re-opened the mine in 1911. In the same year and the year after two mine disaster happened. 6 pit men each died due to pit explosions. During peak times 1.100  employees worked in the coal mine. The pit however still was not very profitable and was closed in 1925. In 1929 they started to extract the coal from the Teutoburgia seams from Pit Erin. The Teutoburgia shaft first only used as air shaft, later from 1941 again for men riding and coal mining of the coal mine Erin. The shaft was finally closed in 1983.      

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Zeche Teutoburgia

Location: Kohlenstraße, 44627 Herne

GPS 51.552476, 7.277975

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF16-35mm f4L IS USM

Date: August 3, 2019, 4:32pm

Exif: 26mm, f/13, ISO 500, 1/400 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

16. Deutsches Bergbau-Museum, Bochum

Deutsches Bergbau-Museum, Bochum, Ruhrgebiet, Deutschland with Doppelbock headframe

With more than 350.000 visitors every year, the Deutsche Bergbau-Museum in Bochum is one of the most visited in the world.  Even if there never was a coal mine at this location, the museum still has a long history. During the 1860ties mining tools were exhibited here. In 1930 a foundation contract over a mining museum was concluded with the cit of Bochum. During World War II most of the premises were destroyed and reconstructed to protect against air raids. The museum reopened in 1946 with a small exhibition, only one year after the end of the war. The Doppelbock headframe shown in this photo is of the former coal mine Germania von Marten and was moved in 1974 to Bochum. During the last three years the museum was reconstructed from the bottom to the top, only parts of the museum could be visited. On July 13, 2019 it reopened completely again. A underground demonstration pit, 20 m below the surface, offers to visitors interesting insights into the life and work of pit man over the centuries. A visit is definitely worth it. 

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

Location: Am Bergbaumuseum 28, 44791 Bochum

GPS 51.488865, 7.216138

Camera: iPhone X

Lens: iPhone X back dual camera 4mm f/1.8

Date: December 2, 2018, 1:15pm 

Exif: 4mm, f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/570 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

17. Erbstollen Stock & Scherenberger, Sprockhövel

Deutsches Bergbau-Museum, Bochum, Ruhrgebiet, Deutschland with Doppelbock headframe

The adit Stock & Scherenberger in Sprockhövel is a draining adit for the coal mines of this area. It was created in 1746 and got during the next 100 years a length of 3km in the massive rock underground. Since 2013 the adit is maintained by the private club Bergbauhistorischer Stätten Ruhrrevier e.V and can be visited. A helmet, boots, and old clothes are highly recommended. The adit is flooded and in some areas very narrow. A visit however is definitely worth it.   

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Erbstollen Stock & Scherenberger

Location: Helsbergstraße, 45549 Sprockhövel

GPS 51.361315, 7.277022

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Date: August 10, 2019, 12:44 pm

Exif: 16mm, f/6.3, ISO 320, 25 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Making of

A famous ad for cigarettes once said: "I'd walk a mile for a cigarette". This could be the slogan as well for photographers. To get the most beautiful shots, we sometimes go far to extreme places, watch for the right weather, or hold out patiently long hours in cold and heat to get the right light. Or like in this case creeping 800 meter underground into a narrow, low, dirty and wet adit in full activity, bringing man and gear to the limits, just to get a handful of good photos. Is it worth it? A clear yes! Not only the photos, also the smile on the face of the photographer are sufficient proof :-)

Coal Mines in Münsterland, Germany


17. Coal Mine Ibbenbüren

coal mine pit Ibbenbüren shaft oenyhausen, Münsterland, Germany with steel headframe

The coal mine Ibbenbüren was founded in 1846 by consolidating the pits Glücksburg (later Ostfeld) and Schafberg. 

 

Shaft Morgenstern was built in 1824 as part of pit Schafberg. The brick wall winding tower of Morgenstern was constructed in 1943. The shaft was finally closed and filled in 1979. Shaft Oeynhausen shown on the photo above, was founded in 1858, when the German railway was requesting more and more coal. Over the years the mining of coal was moving more and more to the east of Ibbenbüren and the pit men had to walk long distance underground to get to work. A new shaft Theodorschacht was drilled in Laggenbeck to provide direct access but as well fresh air to the eastern part of the mine. 

 

All the years the mine was fighting against rising water. In 1894 the catastrophy happened. In a few weeks only the mine nearly completely was filled with water. They changed the layout of the mine massively. E.g. a new area called Westfeld was built, which was active until 1979. Massive pumps were installed to dry out the mine, which took 2 years from 1896 until 1898. The pit reopened in 1899. 

 

The coal mine, owned by the Prussian government, passed into private hands in 1923 and was managed by Preußag, a German group listed on the stock market. In 1941 Konrad Grebe, a pit man originated from the Saarland, invented the carbon planer, a device that doubled the speed of extracting coal from 1,5m per day to 3m per day.  

 

In 1956/1957 shaft Nordschacht was opened and the mine extended to the North. The coal seams gather depth the more north the coal was extracted. So Nordschacht was drilling deeper and deeper over the years, layer by layer (1960: 808 m, 1974: 1.418 m, 1988: 1.545 m layer 5; 2012: 1.630 m layer 6). Ibbenbüren became one of the deepest coal mines in the world. In comparison: Mine Monopol (Bergkamen): 1415m deepest pit in the Ruhrgebiet, Pit Saar (Saarlouis): 1750m deepest coal mine in Europe. The only pit deeper than that was Shaft  371 of the uran mine Aue: 1.800m. Only the gold mines in South Africa reach deeper down to 4.000m, because the mantle of Earth is much thicker in Africa. In Europe the temperature rises by 1°C every 30m of depth. So at a depth of 1.500m the temperature of the rocks is at around 45°C. Working conditions down there would have been completely unbearable without adequate mine ventilation.

 

In Ibbenbüren they extracted anthracite coal. Main consumer was the power station in Ibbenbüren, founded in 1905 to provide electricity to the mine itself. In 1967 the power station was extended by block A, and in 1981 by block B, providing a electricity of 850 mega watt. The cooling tower of 110m height and the chimney of 275m height are dominating the skyline of the town. The power station soon became the landmark of Ibbenbüren. Further consumers of the high-quality anthracite coal were numerous companies and private homes in the wider environment of Ibbenbüren, who used the coal for heating their home.  

 

The coal mine Ibbenbüren closed on August 17, 2018. It was the second last active pit in Germany. 

 

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Oeynhausenschacht

Location: Zechenstraße, 49477 Ibbenbüren, Germany

GPS 52.286464, 7.737488

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF24-105mm f4L IS USM

Date: July 28, 2019, 4:31pm

Exif: 105mm, f/8, ISO 100, 1/200 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Coal Mines in Saarland, Germany


18. Pit Saar, Ensdorf

Coal Mine Pit Zeche Bergwerk Saar, Ensdorf, Saarland, Germany with winding tower headframe

Shaft Duhamel in Ensdorf in Saarland, Germany is part of the coal mine Saar, which was closed in 2005. The steel headframe served for man-riding and for transport of materials. First documented mention of coal mining in Ensdorf goes back to 1730. Farmers were extracting open-cast coal for their own use. The first industrially used pits evolved in 1815. The slag of the mine was disposed on the slag heap Duhamel nearby.

  

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Duhamelschacht

Location: Provinzialstraße 1, 66806 Ensdorf, Germany

GPS 49.318772, 6.777881

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF24-105mm f4L IS USM

Date: July 11, 2019, 10:46am

Exif: 105mm, f/7.1, ISO 100, 1/250 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

19. Pit Camphausen, Quierschied

Coal Mine Pit Camphausen, Quierschied, Saarland, Germany with Hammerkopfturm winding tower and headframe

The pit Camphausen is a coal mine located in Fischbach-Camphausen in Saarland, Germany. From 1871 until November 1990 coal was extracted from underground. Due to lack of space the decision was taken in 1908 to construct a concrete winding tower instead of a steel headframe. It was the first of its kind worldwide.    

  

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Grube Camphausen

Location: Dudweilerstraße 19, 66287 Quierschied

GPS 49.300041, 7.025210

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF24-105mm f4L IS USM

Date: July 11, 2019, 3:08pm

Exif: 88mm, f/8, ISO 100, 1/800 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

Tin Mines in Cornwall, England


20. Giew Mine, Cripplesease

Frank's Shaft Engine House of the tin mine Giew Mine

The engine house of Giew Mine was erected in 1874 on top of the 225m Frank's shaft. The ruins lie alongside the B3311 road between St Ives and Penzance. The tin mine was already active mid of the 18th century. Frank's shaft is the eastmost of a series of shafts of the mine. In 1908 Giew was taken over by St Ives Consolidated Mines Ltd and in 1917 by Thermo Electric Corporation. It was the only active tin mine in the years 1921-22. Giew was closed in 1923.      

 

Links: Mindat.orgcornishmineimages.co.ukcornwallinfocus.co.uk

 

Photo: 

Title: Frank's Shaft Engine House, Giew Mine

Location: B3311, Penzance TR20 8NF, England

GPS 50.18225,-5.50233

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF24-105mm f4L IS USM

Date: September 10, 2019  4:48pm

Exif: 24mm, f/13, ISO 125, 1/80 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

21. New Cook's Kitchen Mine, Pool

New Cook's Kitchen Mine, Pool

In 1872 New Cook’s Kitchen was split off Cook’s Kitchen mine (Tincroft, Cornwall) and operated as independent company. The mine is located in the direct neighborhood of South Croft mine in Pool, Cornwall. The parent mine Cooks Kitchen, founded in 1740, was one of the most important copper mines of the world in the second half of the 18th century. From the start New Cook's Kitchen was hit by falling tin prices on the world market, reaching an all-time-low in 1878. Both mines had to be sold,  Cooks' Kitchen to the Tincroft Mines group in 1895, New Cook's Kitchen to South Croft in 1899. The New Cook’s Kitchen shaft was opened in 1907. The steel head frame on top of the shaft (photo) was erected in the late 1960ties. During the last years until its closure in 1988 New Cook’s Kitchen was the main shaft operated by the South Crofty mine.

  

Link: Cornwallinfocus.co.uk

 

Photo: 

Title: New Cook's Kitchen Mine

Location: Dudnance Ln, Pool, Redruth, England

GPS 50.222403, -5.275519

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF24-105mm f4L IS USM

Date: September 13, 2019  12:34pm

Exif: 105mm, f/4, ISO 100, 1/400 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

22. South Crofty Mine, Pool

South Crofty Mine, Pool, Cornwall, England

South Crofty is an old tin and copper mine in Pool, Cornwall. First underground copper mining is documented for the year 1592. Industrial production started in 1710. The copper reserves are close to the surface, not reaching down more than 80m. Over centuries the mine was rather a flat pit than a deep mine. In 1822 East Wheal Crofty was opened to assess the copper reserves from the East end. In 1833 South and East Crofty were merged. The mine had a depth of 80 meters at this point in time. The pit was substantially extended and improved during the 1830ties. They sold parts of the East Wheal Crofty mine in 1863 and only continued production in South Crofty, now at a depth of 210 meters. The company had invested substantially in new machines in 1873, which made the mine financially dependent on the tin reserves, which were detected underneath the copper reserves. In 1880 the copper reserves depleted and South Crofty focused on the tin production in the deeper areas of the pit at 480 meters. During the 1890ties the drop in prices of tin hit the mine hard. On the one hand side directly by less sales, on the other hand side by the closing of surrounding tin mines so that South Crofty had to bear the cost of water drainage alone. In February 1896 South Crofty stopped production and the mine was flooded.  

 

Three years later new financial funds were found and the mine slowly started production again. In 1899 South Crofty bought the adjacent New-Cooks-Kitchen mine. 1903 the Robinson shaft (see photo) was extended. South Crofty Limited was founded in 1906 and further deepened the shaft to 575 meter. In 1910 the mine was reported profitable with an annual tin production of 60.000 tons. During the following 70 years South Crofty further extended by gradually acquiring neighboring mines. In 1969 the mine produced 100.000 tons of tin and other metals like wolframite and arsenic. 1967 South Crofty was acquired by Siamese Tin Syndicate Ltd who further extended the mine. The annual tin production grew to 200.000 tons in 1975. After the collapse of international tin agreements, the tin price drastically dropped on the world markets. The company reacted with rationalization programs and reduction of staff. A temporary price increase let the mine survive into the 1990ties. After another price decline however South Crofty had to close business in March 1998.

 

Today the site around shaft Robinson is a visitor center called "Heartlands". Outside you can visit the old headframe of shaft Robinson. The exhibition in the old machine house shows the original pumping machine used here in South Crofty in 1854. 

 

In March 2001 a local company was formed with the declared goal to reopen the South Crofty mine. Refurbishment started the same year at New Cook's Kitchen section, which opened to the public in 2003. After many years tin was again produced at South Croft in 18m depth. 2007 Western United Mines Limited was founded to own and operate the mine. At this point in time the company employed 26 workers. Experts estimated a significant tin reserve, enabling the mine to operate for 80 years. Between 2002 and 2010 the tin price climbed by factor 4, from $4,000/ton in 2002 to $17,000/ton in 2010. A profitable production seemed to get into reach. The mine region of Cornwall and West Devon had been listed world heritage in 2006. In 2012 UNESCO called for a halt on work to reopen the mine. 2013 Western United Mines failed to receive required investment cash to continue the reopening process. To protect the assets, South Crofty tin mine went into administration. 

 

In Oktober 2016 the Canadian company Strongbow Exploration acquired the interest in the South Crofty Tin Project and associated mineral rights. One year later the company obtained the dewatering permit from the UK Environment Agency to discharge treated water into the Red River. With this permit the company had now the full permission to reopen the mine. Beginning of 2018 funds were confirmed to start constructions of the water treatment plant. The market price of tin had climbed to $20,000/ton in the meantime. Strongbow estimates the tin reserves of the mine at 1.7 million tons. They expect to reopen the mine within the next 3.5 years.  

  

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Heartlands

Location: Robinson's Shaft, Dudnance Ln, Pool TR15 3QY, England

GPS 50.224980, -5.271026

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF24-105mm f4L IS USM

Date: September 13, 2019  12:27pm

Exif: 35mm, f/8.0, ISO 100, 1/250 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

23. Geevor Tin Mine, Pendeen

Geevor Tin Mine, Pendeen, Cornwall, England

Since the late 18th century tin and copper have been mined by a small local company Wheal ab Giver (Cornish for "a piece of ground occupied by goats"). The tin mine  between the villages of Pendeen and Trewellard was first called East Levant Mine, later from 1840 until its closure in 1891 North Levant Mine. End of the 19th century a group of miners from Sant Just, who had returned from South Africa at the outbreak of the the Second Boer War, reopened the pit under the old name Wheal Geevor. In 1904 the mine was acquired by the West Australian Gold Field Company. Its name was changed to Geevor Tin Mines Ltd. In 1919 mining was moved west towards the coastline. The Viktoria shaft (photo) deepened to 540m to the north-west. After World War II until the early 1960ties Geevor Tin Mine as well as South Crofty in Pool had difficulties to get capital for required  investments and were facing problems to recruit staff. Both mines hired pitmen from Italien and Polen in this period. During the 1960ties 270 miners were working at Geevor Tin Mine. The works were again moved west underneath the ocean, complicated by a hole in the seabed. The hole had to be closed, before the areas closed in the 1930ties could be assessed again. 

 

Like many other tin mines also Geevor Tin Mine was suffering from the collapsing tin prices mid of the 1980ties. The mine struggled and survived a few more years, but finally had to close in 1990. The mine was flooded in May 1991. The site was converted into a museum. Visitors can walk through the machine house, the changing house and the ore processing mill. Underground tours are offered as well.     

  

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Geevor Tin Mine

Location: Pendeen, Penzance TR19 7EW, England

GPS 50.151884, -5.676434

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF16-35mm f4L IS USM

Date: September 18, 2019  1:48pm

Exif: 16mm, f/8.0, ISO 100, 1/320 sec. 

© Christian Twehues

24. Levant Mine, Sant Just

Levant Mine, Sant Just, Cornwall, England

The Levant Mine is located directly at the cliffs close to Sant Just in Cornwall, England, around 10 km north-east of Land's End. The main attraction of the mine is the beam engine of 1840, which is still operated as tourist attraction at its original location. The mine opened in 1820 and produced tin until 1930. The mine had a depth of 600m, adits were driven up to 2,5km under the sea. That's why its nickname was "mine under the sea". The wooden windlass shown on the photo was saved and 1935 and refurbished by volunteers. On the site there are plenty remains of the former buildings and chimneys of Levant Mine.

  

Link: Wikipedia

 

Photo: 

Title: Levant Mine

Location: Levant Rd, Pendeen, Trewellard, Penzance TR19 7SX, England

GPS 50.152117, -5.685419

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF16-35mm f4L IS USM

Date: September 18, 2019  3:08pm

Exif: 33mm, f/8.0, ISO 100, 1/100 sec. +1/3 

© Christian Twehues

25. Botallack Mine, Botallack

Crown Engine Houses, Botallack Mine, Cornwall, England

The Botallack Mine is located close to Sant Just in Cornwall, England, on the cliffs of Cape Cornwall. The tunnels reach out to the Atlantic by more than a mile under the sea. Mining in this region goes back to the 17th century. Botallack mine was active until 1895. Various attempts to reopen the mine failed and the area was finally abandoned in 1914. Several ruins of the former mine are still existing like a headframe, chimneys, and the remarkable Crown Engine Houses, which were built directly into the cliffs (photo). 

 

Links: Wikipedia, BBS.co.uk

 

Photo: 

Title: Crown Engine Houses

Location: Penzance TR19 7QQ, England

GPS 50.143041, -5.693046

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Lens: EF16-35mm f4L IS USM

Filter: B+W ND3.0 1000x

Date: September 18, 2019  6:11pm

Exif: 35mm, f/16, ISO 200, 30 sec. 

© Christian Twehues


Gallery: Mines