Friday, 15 May 2015
Coal Mining in Cottbus
Tagebau Cottbus-Nord is the name of a vast brown coal (lignite) open-cast mine NE of Cottbus in the Lausitz region of eastern Germany. It has been in operation since 1981 and has an output of between 4 and 7 million tonnes of lignite per year. It is winding down operations and is due to close at the end of this year (2015). Then it will be landscaped and flooded to make an enormous lake, due to be completed in 2030.
The area is environmentally nightmarish, with enormous mining machines digging into the ground and turning the countryside into a moonscape of barren sand. Hopefully this scar will eventually heal over, and nature return in all its vivid variety, but for now it is a desert with precious few plants managing to cling on to life here.