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Martin Dulig (left) and Klaus Zschiedrich (right) sign the framework agreement.

Framework agreement for the early use of open-pit mining lakes strengthens local authorities and water tourism

The Saxon State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport and the Lausitz and Central-German Mining Administration Company (LMBV), Senftenberg, signed a “Framework Agreement for the Intermediate Use of Lakes in Saxony” on 18th June 2015. This agreement defines the terms and conditions for the use of open-pit mining lakes for tourism purposes before their final completion.

“The renovation of former lignite mining sites is an important area of potential for the future and is a pre-requisite for the restructuring and recovery of mining regions,” explains Saxony’s Economic Minister, Martin Dulig. “With this supplementary agreement, we have found a practical solution that not only benefits the surrounding communities but is also particularly beneficial for the water tourism sector.”

The supplementary framework agreement contains the following central provisions:

  • The renovation work not yet completed always takes priority over intermediate use by local authorities.
  • Upon opening of the lake for early use, responsibility for traffic safety is transferred to the user in question.
  • LMBV is responsible for marking any geo-technical areas with restricted access (relates to land and water).
  • LMBV provides all necessary markings and signage by proxy for the early intermediate use of the lakes. Work is financed using funds governed by Section 4 of the Administrative Agreement on lignite.

Klaus Zschiedrich, CEO at LMBV, says: “With this framework agreement, we now have a set of clear regulations about the opportunities as well as the rights and obligations related to the early use of lakes. The renovation of former lignite mining sites will create over 40 open-pit mining lakes with a total area of around 14,000 hectares in the Free State of Saxony. We have to provide planning security for all parties involved.”

When it comes to renovating former lignite mines, particular priority is being given to regional development in Lausitz and the Leipzig region. Since 1990, the federal government and the relevant German states have invested over € 9.3 billion in the renovation of former lignite mines. In January 2008, the government-run company LMBV and the Free State of Saxony signed an over-arching framework agreement regarding the transfer of open-pit mining lakes to the Free State of Saxony following their redevelopment.

(SMWA Sachsen/Si)