References and examples of projects


Geology and mining

  • Assessment of the explosion hazard due to mine gases in the final storage for radioactive substances in Gorleben (Germany). Deutsche Gesellschaft zum Bau und Betrieb von Endlagern für Abfallstoffe mbH (DBE).
  • R&D project: Dynamics of unintentionally or intentionally flooded salt mines and their overlying rock stratas; aquisition of geological and geotechnical data, reconstruction of the development of mining damage. Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung. 2006 - 2010
  • Preparation of exploration and research drilling in the area of potash and rock salt mining by Staßfurt; planning and preparation of prospection drilling for assessment of the situation of the old mines. Landesamt für Geologie und Bergbau Sachsen-Anhalt 2005 – 2007.
  • Feasibility study and concept planning for the revitalisation of sylvinite mine Roßleben (Germany). Florett S.A. 2008.
  • Feasibility study on the back filling and pillar remining in sylivinte mine Boulby (Great Britain). Cleveland Potash Ltd. Boulby Mine, ICL 2008
  • Assessment of sylvinite/carnallitite deposit Berka/Hachelbich (Germany). GSES mbH, Sondershausen 2008.
  • Geomechanical and geotechnical stability analysis for the operation frame plan of rock salt mine Heilbronn (Germany). Südwestsalz AG 2009.
  • Feasibility study on the carnallitite project Thangone in Laos. SINOHYDRO MINING CO: (LAO), Ltd. Beijing. 2008
  • Geological model of carnallitite deposit Thangone in Laos. SINOHYDRO MINING CO: (LAO), Ltd. Beijing 2009
  • Stability verification for the planned cavern field Thangone in Laos. SINOHYDRO MINING CO: (LAO), Ltd. Beijing 2009
  • Prospection, concept planning and detailed planning for the securing of shaft Immenrode (Germany). Thüringer Landesbergamt 2009.
  • R&D project: Compressed reservoir for the storage of energy in discontinued salt mines and for the stabilisation of the mine's openings. Joint project 0327637B within the sponsored program of BMU to research and develop wind energy. 2007 - 2009
  • Feasibility study on the long term safety of cavern field Hengelo (Netherlands). Akzo Nobel Industrial Chemicals B.V. 2010
  • Assessment of possible interactions of salt mine Cote Blanche Island and a planned cavern gas storage (Henry Gas Storage) in Louisiana (USA). North American Salt Company 2010
  • Technical assessment of carnallitite deposit Bamnet Narong in Thailand. Bangchak Petroleum Public Company Limited 2010.
  • Comparision of conventional mining to application of solution mining to extract the carnallitite deposit Bamnet Narong in Thailand. Bangchak Petroleum Public Company Limited 2010.
  • Construction, delivery and installation of blanket control systems for Solution Mining Operation Thangone in Laos. SINOHYDRO MINING CO: (LAO) 2012.
  • Development and delivery of a bore hole cement for use in extremely sensible tachyhydrite rich rock zones. SINOHYDRO MINING CO: (LAO) 2012.
  • Feasibility study on a KCl production through solar evaporation in the area of Salmueras Ñamuc, Peru. Cementos Pacasmayo S. A. A. / Salumeras Sudamericanas S.A. 2012
  • R&D project Methods to enduringly prevent mining and environmental hazards in West-Ukraine. Freistaat Thüringen, supported by funds of the European Fund for regional development. 2012
  • Feasibility study on a KCl production through solar evaporation in the area of Salmueras Cañamac, Peru. Cementos Pacasmayo S. A. A. / Salumeras Sudamericanas S.A. 2012
  • Prospection concept for the investigation of a lithium rich brine deposit in Salar de Maricunga – Chile. Simbalik Group 2012
  • Construction, delivery and installation of 2nd generation blanket control systems for Solution Mining Operation Thangone in Laos. SINOHYDRO MINING CO: (LAO) 2013.
  • Geological calculation of ressources and technical assessment of a potash deposit in Danakil depression - Ethiopia. Circum Minerals / G&B Central African Resources Ltd. 2013 - 2014
  • Technical assessment of a potash deposit in Laos. Bangchak Petroleum Public Company Limited - currently ongoing
  • Assistance during start up of solution mining field Thangone in Laos. SINOHYDRO MINING CO: (LAO) - currently ongoing
  • Asse mine concept and permission planning for an additional shaft including the assistance during exploration drilling and geological analysis of the drill cores (Remlingen 15). Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz - currently ongoing
  • Technological-geomechanical assistance - execution and interpretation of deformation, subsidence and convergence measurements, hydraulic fracturing, in situ and lab tests of back fill materials in the potash mines of the Werra-, Südharz- und Saale Unstrut area (Teutschenthal) as well as in Baden-Württemberg – currently ongoing
  • Geological calculation of the ressources and technical assessment of a potash deposit in Danakil depression – Ethiopia. G&B Central African Resources Ltd., currently ongoing.

R&D activities

  • Geomechanical and geological-mineralogical site characterisations
  • Geophysical/ geomechanical prospecting and monitoring of in situ test areas
  • Concept planning and planung and completion of measurement devices and test installations
  • Installation of measurement devices and test installations in situ
  • Monitoring of in situ tests with geophysical methods
  • Geological-mineralogical fundamental research in highly soluble salt formations
  • Site characterisations for dam constructions in highly soluble salt formations

National and international references

Selected clients


  • Wacker Chemie AG Salzbergwerk Stetten
  • SWS - Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG
  • NDH Entsorgungsbetreibergesellschaft mbH
  • GSES - Glückauf Sondershausen Entwicklungs- und Sicherungsgesellschaft mbH
  • BfS - Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz
  • DBE - Deutsche Gesellschaft zum Bau und Betrieb von Endlagern für Abfallstoffe mbH
  • GVV - Gesellschaft zur Verwahrung und Verwertung von stillgelegten Bergwerksbetrieben mbH
  • TLBA - Thüringer Landesbergamt
  • PtJ - Projektträger Jülich / Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
  • KIT - Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
  • IfG - Institut für Gebirgsmechanik GmbH
  • Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg


  • Akzo Nobel Industrials Chemicals B.V., Netherlands
  • The Bangchak Petroleum Plc. Ltd., Kingdom of Thailand
  • Cleveland Potash Ltd., United Kingdom - Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Sinochem Corp., People's Republic of China
  • Sinohydro Mining Corp., Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • SIMBALIK Group Inversions Limitada, Republic of Chile
  • Cementos Pacasmayo S.A.A, Republic of Peru
  • North American Salt Company, United States of America

Examples of projects

How stable is the mine?

To provide for the long term safety in the area of a series of discontinued potash mines in
Südharz and Saale-Unstrut region a couple of measures for the securing of the mines after termination of extraction became necessary, which mainly protect the ground surface. Especially the following rock mechanical hazard potentials have to be considered:

  • Subsidence processes over a wide surface area with large annual sinking rates or with large sinking rates to be expected and negative effect on buildings, transport ways and streams,
  • seismic-tectonical activity induced by mines in different parts of those mines
  • latent hazard of rock bursts due to extensive mining of carnallitite.

The necessary closure and securing works within a long term back fill concept using rock salt or non-mining wastes need intensive scientific assistance. Previous to back fill measures and during the implementation itself complex geotechnical analyses have to be carried out that include the specific conditions of the mining field and comprehending geomechanic parameters. In the following scheme the various conditions and the methods used to determine the geomechanical situation are revealed.

Through photographic documentation the macroscopic rock mechanical conditions in diverse parts of the mining field and their temporal changes (conservation of evidence) are recorded.

With the help of hydraulic fracturing systematic measurements of tension are carried out; the time dependent changes of softening and load bearing properties of mining pillars are recorded.

A reliable picture of the in situ stress and deformation status can be achieved by a combination of conventional deformation measurements (pillars' lateral extension, convergence) in preferably the whole underground mining area and surface subsidence measurements by surveyors. Additionally comprehensive seismic monitoring with underground and surface sensors is carried out for location, investigation and geotechnical analysis of large-scale seismic activities.

For the placement of backfill materials in mining areas obligated to backfill various materials and methods can be used. Rock salt tailings can be used for drop stowing, which means that material from within the mine is used as backfill.

Since the beginning of the 1990s more and more external wastes are used in hydraulic backfills to be placed in cavities of the central German potash district that have to be secured. The development of suitable back fill materials for slurry backfill and paste backfill that will meet the continuous mechanical and thermal load and at the same time don't entail subsequent chemical damage is carried out in the department of disposal and back fill technology in K-UTEC. The backfill material, which is introduced in a liquid form, has self levelling properties and reaches strengths that allow stepping on and loading after relatively short rest periods if the cavities are not completely filled. This makes it possible to prove the effectiveness and the stabilising effect of the backfill in the filled rooms.

Also the observation of surface subsidence provides a possibility to verify the success of backfill measures. In general it can be observed that with the start of the extraction of potash the rate of surface subsidence accelerates distinctively and only after backfilling of the cavities subsidence comes to a rest.

Complex geomechanical monitoring of mining fields
Temporal development of the maximal surface subsidence rate on top of back fill mining

Position of the former gypsum mine Seckach

Hazard assessment of the former gypsum mine Seckach

Around the mine field of the gypsum mine Seckach that stopped working in 1962 high levels of ion content in flow off groundwater was detected in certain areas. This is why a comprehensive hydrogeological research programme has been carried out in the last years, which was initiated by the regional authorities for geology, raw materials and mining (LGRB).

Based on the previous results of the study an expert consortium formed by agruplan GmbH / K-UTEC AG was commissioned to analyse the hazards caused by the old mine workings including recent dissolution processes. The stability of the room and pillar system had to be assessed and the influence of collapse on the surface had to be estimated.

Asse Shaft V - prospection drilling Remlingen 15, 4L

The retrieval of the radioactive waste from shaft works Asse II presents to be the best option for decommissioning according to the latest state of knowledge. To be able to retrieve all materials within the existing constraints of the shaft works as fast as possible the planning of another surface shaft had to be included into considerations.

The position of a potential shaft had to be planned and selected accordingly. At the chosen location initially prospection drilling should be carried out to check its suitability. Various constraints like surface conditions, geological-geotechnical and operational-mining technical relationships of the shaft works had to be analysed accordingly. These points play an important role in the choice of potential positions for prospection and exploration drilling as the geological-hydrogeological conditions of the overlying rock and the evaporitic layer are very complex and the rate of underground excavation was very high.

The drilling had been started on June 5th, 2013 and ended on June 30th, 2014. The drill holes reached a maxiumum depth of 900 m. From time to time the drilling was interrupted to carry out geophysical, hydraulic and tension measurements in the bore hole.

For the execution of the project a consortium of DMT (Deutsche Montantechnologie, Essen), K-UTEC AG (Sondershausen) and TS (Tyssen Schachtbau, Mühlheim an der Ruhr) was formed. K-UTEC AG's part was to assist on site, to manage the subcontractors and the geological analyses of the gained drill cores including sampling.

The geological recording and analysis of the drill cores on site comprised the following tasks for a geologist at the drill place:

  • Preparation of the core boxes (marking with depth, core section number, core section length, core section depth, core box number),
  • Removal of the drill cores from the core barrel,
  • Measurement of the drill core length (core section length),
  • Determination of the RQD index on the displayed core sections,
  • Cutting of the drill cores fitting the core boxes,
  • Storing of the drill cores in the prepared core boxes,
  • Wrapping of the cores in prepared foils for protection from damp and drying,
  • Transport of the core boxes to the core box reception containers at the drill site,
  • Cleaning of the drill core surfaces with a suitable liquid,
  • Principal geological (lithological, stratigraphical) characterisation,
  • Creation of a protocol,
  • Photo documentation (overview),
  • Creation of detailed photographs if necessary,
  • Storing of the cores in the core boxes
  • Ablage der Kernkisten und Transport in das vorgesehene Kernlager,
  • Storing of the core boxes and transport to the designated core storage.
Impressions of the drilling site

Salt lake exploration and deposit assessment in Peru - Salmueras Namuc and Salmueras Canamac

The project of deposit exploration and assessment was split into two different but adjacent exploration areas (Namuc and Canamac) of salt lakes situated close to the sea in the region of Piura in Peru. Additionally the project got divided into a planning, an exploration, an evaluation and an assessment phase.

The planning phase comprised a comprehensive geoscience exploration concept that described all measures to gain the basic data of the area to be assessed. Part of this were e.g. concepts for geological exploration (drilling), geophysical exploration (geoelectrics, seismics, etc.) and hydrogeological exploration (pumping tests).

The exploration phase was monitored, managed and assisted by K-UTEC AG on site. The geological exploration works (drilling) were carried out by local drilling companies. The implementation of geophysical investigations was carried out by K-UTEC personnel. For hydrogeological exploration and pumping tests a subcontructor was commissioned; the according results got directly implemented into their analysis by K-UTEC.

With the help of the generated data it was possible to carry out a brine resource estimation of the overall deposit and its two parts (Namuc and Canamac).

3D image of drill holes and sections
Example of a drill hole image
Illustration of flow directions
Illustration of porosities
Example of the identification of resources

Deposit exploration and assessment in Ethiopia, Danakil depression

For the technical departments geophysics and geomechanics & mining this project comprised the geological characterisation and deposit description, the assessment of the available mineral resources and the bore hole analysis of geophysical data from an exploration area in the Danakil depression in Ethiopia.

All information from drilled bore holes (position, collar height, depth, geological layers, their thickness, etc.) and from geophysical measurements that got carried out were collected in a data base. With the help of according visualisation programs (Voxler, RockWorks) the information could be visualised in 2D and 3D.

Additionally chemical analysis of many drill core samples was carried out. From this information in combination with geological and geophysical findings a resource estimation could be conducted.

Work on the project and creation of the report was carried out according to international standard. In this case an NI 43-101 report according to the actual CIM standard was written for the client.

K-UTEC AG has adequately qualified personnel (qualified persons appointed by the EFG - European Federation of Geologists) who are through their assignement of EuroGeologists are allowed to write and assist writing according reports. Additionally K-UTEC AG dispose of personnel with the qualification FIMMM (Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining).

Location of the project area in Ethiopia/Africa
Satellite picture and position of drilling
Compilation of thickness charts
Designation of resource areas