Reichhartschacht

Reichhart-Schacht


Useful Information

Location: Freiung, Stulln i.d. Oberpfalz, bei Schwandorf.
Open: closed.
[2022]
Fee: closed.
[2022]
Classification: MineFluorite Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours: closed.
[2022]
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: H. Wolf, L. Kestel (1980): Reichhart-Schacht / Oberpfälzer Besucherbergwerk, 24 S., Regensburg/Theuern 1980
A. Adler, M. Koch, K. Weiss (1977): 25 jähriges Jubiläum der Knappenvereine Stulln, Wölsendorf, Schwarzenfeld, Stulln 1977
Address: Reichhart-Schacht, Konrad Reichhart, Freiung 2, 92551 Stulln, Tel: +49-9433-1555, Fax: +49-9433-204855.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1890 fluorite discoverd by Wilhelm Reichhart and mine opened.
1921 mining ended.
1974 developed as a show mine by Josef Reichhart.
1980 show mine opened.
1987 nearby Grube Hermine closed, pumps turned off, mine flooded.
1990 pumps in the Reichhartschacht installed, show mine restored by Konrad Reichhart.
1996 opened to the pubic.
19-MAR-1999 second exit through Gottes-Segen-Schacht opened to the public.
06-SEP-2005 headframe of the closed Grube Roland moved to this site.
2012 mine closed and flooded.

Geology

The Wölsendorfer Flusspatrevier (Wölsendorf fluorspar district) is one of the most important fluorspar deposits in Central Europe. It is about 15 km long and 8 km wide and has about 100 veins with fluorspar, baryte and quartz. About 30 of these veins are of economic importance. Most veins run northwest-southeast, cross veins run north-south. The thickness of the veins varies a lot, some veins had maxima of 6m, 8m or even 12m. However, the veins could also disappear almost completely over certain stretches, only to expand again afterwards. The thickest veins were mined in the Marienschacht and Cäcilia pits.

The fluorites were deposited hydrothermally, by thermal water that was volcanically heated and circulated in the underground. In the process, it dissolved various minerals from the rock and redeposited them in fissures. The veins contain fluorite (CaF2) and baryte (BaSO4), but also calcite, dolomite, pyrite, marcasite, zinc blende, galena, chalcopyrite, and uranium. The veins contain in general between 60 % and 80 % fluorite.

Description

The Reichhartschacht was named after its owner, Wilhelm Reichhart. During the 1950s great amounts of fluorite were mined from a huge cleft. The mine was closed when the deposit was almost depleted. But about 2,000 tons of minerals were left in the cleft by the owner, who intended to make a show mine. The mine belongs to the MineBergbau- und Industriemuseum Ostbayern.

Today the mine is operated by Konrad Reichhart as a show mine with mining museum. The cleft is equipped with comfortable staircases and electric light, a lot of machinery is on display and it is demonstrated. On several locations last remains of the fluorite and its side minerals can be seen on the location of its formation. But the highlight of the tour are 15 tools powered by compressed air, which are still working and demonstrated during the tour. Saws, ventilators, drills, water pumps, pulleys and even lamps, all operated by compressed air. This technology was developed for collieries and avoided any sort of sparks which could cause explosions with gases from the coal. The lamps have a small generator inside which produces electricity for the lightbulb.

The biggest problem with the Reichhart shaft is dewatering. The groundwater in the area is actually quite close to the surface, so a lot of water has to be pumped out of the shaft to keep it from flooding. Pumping, in turn, incurs quite significant energy costs. While the mine was in operation, and even in its early days as an exhibition mine, this was not a problem at all. The nearby Hermine Mine mined much deeper, and pumping there lowered the groundwater level in the surrounding area as well, to the point that Reichhartschacht did not need its own pumps. But in 1987, the Hermine mine was closed and the pumps shut down, and the water in the show mine began to rise. Konrad Reichhart took over the show mine from his father and installed pumps in the mine in 1990. To pay for the high energy costs, he sold the water to the operator of several fishponds in the immediate vicinity. The fluorite is not soluble in water, and the mine water is exceptionally pure, so it goes without a hitch. In 2011, Konrad Reichhart was in the process of adding an open-air museum to his exhibit by erecting a headframe, when the fish farmer cancelled the contract. Due to rising energy prices, pumping water was now more expensive than getting water from the water supply. As the energy costs could by no means be covered by the entrance fees, the show mine was closed in 2012 and has since been flooded. Thus, a very unusual show mine, which allowed the visit of a fluorspar cleft, is closed forever.