In recent times, false and misleading information has been circulating regarding the possibility of subsidence damage occurring during the planned rise of mine water levels in the Saarland. As things currently stand, RAG Aktiengesellschaft, Essen/Germany, does not expect the proposed raising of the mine water levels to 320 m below sea level to cause damage through heave.
Accompanying reports also rate the risk of heave-related damage as extremely low. On this basis, RAG is confident that no damage of any kind will arise. The company has announced that there is no need to make use of the subsidence compensation wavers previously agreed by homeowners in land registries.
If, contrary to expectations, minor damage does occur, the following applies: Any such subsidence damage caused by heave will, of course, be settled by RAG. This is also specified in the Federal Mining Act (BBergG). The section on the presumption of subsidence damage applies in identical form for areas affected by heave. This specifies that these owners have the same rights as those whose property is affected by subsidence caused by mining.
Any such settlement is not affected by services that have already been paid for and/or any possible prior final settlements. This is because cases of heave damage are treated as “new events”, which must be considered separately. Consequently, any possible statutes of limitation must not be applied.
RAG has notified the Saarland’s Upper Mining Authority of this in a detailed letter. (RAG/Si.)