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Explore, analyze and process raw materials

Summer workshops with Freiberg scientists at terra mineralia

Press release published on 23 June 2017

Was ist zu tun, um aus rohem Erz Metalle herauszuholen? Dieser Frage gehen die gemeinsam von der Terra Mineralia und dem Helmholtz-Institut Freiberg für Ressourcentechnologie (HIF) veranstalteten Workshops nach.

What needs to be done in order to extract metals from crude ore? That's the focus of the new workshops carried out by terra mineralia and Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF).

Photo: HZDR/ Detlev Müller

Freiberg’s terra mineralia exhibition is offering a new series of summer workshops for anyone interested in exploring, analyzing raw materials and enriching minerals; the series is being conducted in cooperation with the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF), part of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, and other partners. All raw materials enthusiasts aged 12 and over are welcome to take part. The first workshop takes place on Wednesday 28th June 2017.

Scientists from Beak Consultants GmbH, HIF and TU Bergakademie Freiberg invite you to join them over the coming weeks on the search for Saxon raw materials. In the summer workshops, they’ll also be looking at the processes and technologies required to actually extract metals from crude ore. Attendees will get hands on with the research. At each workshop, they’ll learn about a different project from the ongoing ‘r4 – Innovative technologies for resource efficiency – Research for the supply of raw materials of strategic economic importance’ research initiative funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. As a result, they’ll understand how challenging it is to extract the metalliferous raw materials we take for granted in our everyday lives – whether they’re used for coins, batteries or cars.

First Workshop: Minerals in High-Tech Analysis (28/6 and 1/7 at 3pm)

Lots of people are familiar with optical microscopes. But scientific research also uses far larger and more complex instruments to study raw materials. In this first workshop, attendees will learn how to prepare ores for them, and what information modern analytics provides. They’ll take part in a quiz on the Pöhla deposits in the Ore Mountains as well as visiting a research laboratory. Because if you don’t know the precise properties of minerals, you can’t improve their mining and processing.

Second Workshop: Prospecting for Ores in the Ore Mountains (12 and 15/7 at 9am)

Was Bäche über Erzvorkommen verraten, lernen Teilnehmer beim Workshop

Attendees of the "Prospecting for ores in the Ore Mountains" workshop learn what streams tell us about ore deposits.

Photo: Beak Consultants GmbH

The second workshop takes place in the field. Attendees will have the opportunity to work like geologists and go prospecting for raw materials themselves. They’ll find out what streams tell us about ore deposits and they’ll learn the essentials of what’s called ‘stream sediment sampling’. They’ll be able to test their own skill and geological knowledge as they try out prospecting – sifting valuable materials out of stream sediments. To understand how to determine a prospecting site, attendees will identify catchment areas with the help of a topographical map themselves. The workshop will also look at subsequent analysis of the samples.

Third Workshop: The Virtual World of the Geologist (26 and 27/7 at 3pm)

The third workshop is aimed at anyone who wants to know how ore deposits are formed and how this knowledge helps with the discovery of new deposits. An important tool for these investigations are three-dimensional geological models. In the X-Site Cave, TU Bergakademie Freiberg’s Institute for Computer Science possesses a space into which these kinds of models and other complex environments can be projected. Attendees will visit the Cave and have the opportunity to experience the Ore Mountains and their tin deposits virtually.

Fourth Workshop: The Cinderella Principle – How Flotation Works (2 and 5/8 at 3pm)

The goal of processing is to separate ore minerals from gangue minerals and a common method to do so is the flotation process. Its essentials and principle of operation will be explained with demonstration experiments but attendees can also experiment themselves. One of them is the soap boat racing in which you learn the significance of surface properties for flotation and how they can be influenced. The fourth workshop also incorporates the SMoOMaP computer game on how scientists separate minerals from one another.

Registration and Participants

Each of the four topical workshops lasts 2 hours and takes place twice, once on a Wednesday and once on a Saturday. Start time is 3pm. The ‘Prospecting for Ores in the Ore Mountains’ workshop takes place in the field and thus starts at 9am. All of the events are free of charge. To register, please contact the terra mineralia Info Desk (03731 394654 or

The workshops are aimed at anyone over 12 years of age. Space is limited to 15 individuals. A minimum of 5 attendees must be registered for any workshop to take place. Registration closes on Tuesdays for Wednesday workshops, and on Thursdays for Saturday workshops. Information on where to meet will be provided to attendees following registration.

Overview of Workshops






Minerals in High-Tech Analysis 28 June 1 July 3pm

terra mineralia
Schloss Freudenstein
Schloßplatz 4
09599 Freiberg

Prospecting for Ores in the Ore Mountains 12 July

15 July 9am

Venue to be confirmed following registration

The Virtual World of the Geologist 26 July 29 July 3pm

TU Bergakademie Freiberg
Institute of Computer Science
Bernhard-von-Cotta-Straße 2
09599 Freiberg

The Cinderella Principle – How Flotation Works 2 August 5 August 3pm

terra mineralia
Schloss Freudenstein
Schloßplatz 4
09599 Freiberg

For more information:

Tina Schulz | Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology at HZDR
Tel.: +49 351 260–4423 | E-Mail:

Info Desk terra mineralia
Tel: +49 3731 39–4654| E-Mail: