The German coal mining industry, whose history goes back some 200 years, will cease to exist at the end of December 2018. But for the German coalfield communities this end also heralds a new beginning and the start of a new “post-mining” era. The RAG Foundation was established on the basis of, and as part of, the 2007 coal-policy agreement that provided for the closure of the subsidised coal industry. Its remit has been to ensure proper corporate management of the process by which the RAG-operated coal industry is shut down in a socially responsible way and at the same time to put the former “white part” of RAG on an independent footing – this resulting in the creation of Evonik Industries, now a global player in the speciality chemicals market. The capital-market and investment income accruing from these business activities is to be used to build up a private-sector foundation fund. The latter will in future serve to finance the eternity burdens inherited from the coal mining industry, such as mine dewatering, polder drainage measures and ground-water treatment, without placing a burden on the public budget. The operational activities will be taken over by a post-mining RAG, which will also use its reserves for financing the orderly closure of the last active collieries and the inherited liabilities remaining from the non-active mining industry, such as surface subsidence, shaft repair and stabilisation and site remediation. The RAG Foundation will also be supporting education, science and culture in the mining regions insofar as this is associated with the mining industry. In addition to the many projects connected with the “Glückauf Zukunft!” initiative that has been launched to mark the final passage of the coal mining industry this will also include funding for the German Mining Museum in Bochum, which will stand as a cultural tribute to the German coal industry, and for the Georg Agricola University of Applied Sciences, with its Research Centre Post-Mining. All these various activities will continue to require scientific support and guidance and, ideally, access to a professional journal as a forum for presenting academic work of this kind. This has always been the function of industry stalwart Mining Report Glückauf, a mining magazine with a rich tradition and a reputation that extends far beyond the borders of Germany. It is a role that is set to continue well after the end of 2018.
Chairman of the Executive Board