The tunnels in the Mansfeld copper slate mines compared with the Fuchs tunnel
The copper slate mines on the south-eastern edge of the Harz, in the Mansfeld basin and in the Sangerhäuser region are part of one of the oldest active mining regions in the world. When mining started hundreds of years ago, costly tunnels to drain the water had to be built as soon as the workings projected below the receiving streams. In most cases, the mining companies tried to drive a cross-cut from a point on a receiving stream as low as possible in relation to the area to be mined and to reach the deposit with a tunnel which only had a slight incline and then to divert the water to the surface. In the main, they mostly started to mine where the cross-cut intersected with the deposit.
The article first analyses the karst geological conditions of the Mansfeld deposits and gives some general information on the development of mining there. Then the tunnels of the Mansfeld copper slate mines are examined over the ages to today and compared with the Fuchs tunnel.