March 2019
Volume 71    Issue 3

Coal mining in Ruhr Germany: An American perspective of an industry in transition

Mining Engineering , 2019, Vol. 71, No. 3, pp. 20-20
Suarez, Christina; Möllerherm, Stefan; Kretschmann, Jürgen; Brune, Jürgen


The Ruhr region in Germany’s North-Rhine Westphalia is going through significant change. By the end of 2018, the last two underground hard coal mines in the Ruhr, Ibbenbüren and Prosper-Haniel collieries, will close their portals and bring an end to more than 200 years of coal mining and an industry that was once the economic and cultural backbone of the area. Ruhr is undergoing an impressive economic and cultural transformation, as it gradually shifts from being a region once dependent on coal and steelmaking to a post-mining region focused on redesigning itself as a cultural center. This article focuses on the socioeconomic impacts of the transformation into post-mining and the roles of the government, labor unions and local community to aid the transformation from the perspective of an American student. It will look into the cultural values that are helping to drive the transformation and compare them to American standards and values in order to determine if a similar approach can be used in the United States and its coal industry. 

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