Reducing the environmental impact of abandoned mines on water bodies

Project term: 01/07/2017 – 31/03/2022



The aim of the LIFE DEMINE project is to demonstrate and disseminate the technical and economic feasibility of decreasing the overall environmental impact caused by abandoned mine effluents in water bodies. This will be done by adopting an innovative and versatile treatment process that will include existing and widely known technologies based on membrane processes and electrocoagulation, with the global aim of obtaining a non-polluting final effluent.

Within the EU-funded research and development project EU Life DEMINE, a test container for the treatment of mine waste water is planned at the “Schlüsselstollen” in the Mansfelder Mulde (county of Mansfeld Südharz).

The project shedule is divided into different sections. These include obtaining legal permits and comparing the legislation on dump wastewater in the various EU countries, carrying out tests in the laboratory for the combination of possible technologies for the test container construction, building a prototype and installing the system on the test areas, monitoring the cleaning processes, evaluation of results and publications.

The study regarding the legal approval procedures and analysis of the European mining sector was already carried out by the DGFZ e.V. in the first project phase. The test container structure is designed and optimized by the project partners in Wales ELENTEC and SWANSEA by combining existing technology and on the basis of individual tests with mine waste water. The experimental container will then be tested in Wales before it is to be installed and operated continuously by DGFZ e.V. from October 2021 at the “Schlüsselstollen”. On the basis of the results achieved in Wales and at the “Schlüsselstollen”, an environmental analysis and an economic assessment of the new technology will be carried out by the project partner in Spain Fundació Universitària Balmes before the results are published.

Fundingbody: EU LIFE Programm

Fundingcode: EU-Life 16 ENV/ES/000218

Project Leader: Fundació Universitària Balmes (FUB), Spain

Project Partner: Swansea University, United Kingdom; Dresdner Grundwasserforschungszentrum (DGFZ) e.V.; Fa. Elentec Ltd. (Wales); Principality of Asturias, Spain


Project Group Leader

Dr. rer. nat. Thomas Sommer


Phone: +49 351 4050665


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