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Fertilizer lime - necessity of use when recultivating dumps

The winning of brown coal causes inevitable interventions in nature. According to the German law on mining (Bundesberggesetz), mining companies are obliged to carry out measures necessary to recultivate soil, water, and vegetation, which are sometimes widely destroyed after coal drawing.

It is the aim of the recultivation to obtain a "landscape after mining"; a landscape which can be utilized in many ways and which is safe and ecologically valuable.

It will be utilized on the following sectors

  • agriculture (field)
  • forestry (forests)
  • water economy (lakes, wet biotopes)

Spoil intermediatley stored on dumps is used to close the extracted open pit mining areas. Here the formerly quaternary cap rock layers (boulder clay) are culture-friendly. The tertiary substrates (similar to coal) are, due to their ironsulfide contents (pyrite, markosite), extremely culture-hostile and have pH-values <2.

These extremely acid soils, which are bad sorbents, favor the eluviation of nutrients and harmful substances.

The most important precondition for their "taking into nature" is the lasting improvement of the soil reaction by means of the soil amelioration using fertilizer lime (CaCO3 + MgCO3).

The quantity of fertiliser lime to be used and the selection of the amelioration procedure, are based on the geological site examinations of the soil.

Amelioration depths of 0.30 - 1.00 m homogenize the substrates.

Here, lime quantities (CaO + MgO) of 10 t - 300 t/ha are incorporated to obtain a target pH-value between 5 and 6.

Rüdersdorfer Dolomite is best suited for the recultivation of dump substrates, both because of its CaO3 + MgCO3-content and also due to the high clay and coarse clay portion, which is extremely advantageous for the generation of the clay-humus-complex.

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