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Last descent into the potash mine Conow


Last descent into the potash mine Conow

Mecklenburg’s only mine is professionally sealed off

A few months ago, we received an enquiry whether it would be possible to clear a mine shaft underwater, build a steel platform and then a cement bridge, and if it was feasible, what tools and materials would we need. The working depth was to be 55 metres, with the first 18m clear of water. The total depth of the shaft was 720m.

To cover the first 18m, we used parts of the Nordseetaucher GmbH “Wet Bell” diving unit.

The wet bell consists of two independently operating winches, an A-block, the diving basket and the pressure treatment chamber. When working offshore, a diving bell is used instead of the basket.

A total of 46 dives was required to clear the shaft, and a further 17 dives to install the steel platform and the cement bridge.

Work was completed on 14 October 1996; the cement bridge was air and water tight and all the water had been pumped out. In a final ceremonial farewell, the cage descended for very last time into Conow mine before the shaft was filled with water to the surface and sealed with a concrete lid.