Nochten coal mine

From Global Energy Monitor

The Nochten coal mine is an open-cast mine operated by LEAG. It produces 16.1 million tonnes per annum, near Weißwasser and Boxberg in Saxony, Germany.[1][2]

The mine provides lignite to the Boxberg Power Station.


The satellite photo below shows the area of the mine near Weißwasser and Boxberg in Saxony, Germany.

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The first exploration took place in 1968, and Mühlrose was relocated for the first time in 1966. Due to the increasing energy demand in the GDR and the fact that lignite was the only raw material available in large quantities, the production capacities and, in parallel, the output of the Boxberg power plant were constantly increased.

The plans for an expansion of "Nochten II" came to a halt after the lignite division was taken over by Czech investors and transferred to LEAG. It is still unclear for the municipalities (as of December 2016) if the resettlement will proceed, especially since the resettlement of Klein Trebendorf was originally supposed to be completed in 2020. Associated with this is uncertainty among the residents concerned, as investments have been postponed for years and funding, for example for the replacement of sewage pits that are no longer approved, are not approved as long as the approval for use of the priority area exists.

The opencast mine is located in the northeast of the Free State of Saxony in the Sorbian settlement area. The pre-mining areas in the Muskauer Heide are mostly heather forests with a high proportion of pine , settlement areas are mostly in the peripheral areas. In the west, the open-cast mine is bounded by the Spree, in the south it extends to the eponymous place Nochten and in the east to the city of Weißwasser. The Nochten open-cast mine divides the Upper Lusatia military training area in two.

In August 2020, Germany passed a coal phaseout act which aims to gradually reduce and eventually end the use of coal-powered energy in the country by 2038.[3] According to the Oeko-Institut, a nonprofit environmental research institute, the shutdown of the Nochten open-cast mine is planned for 2031.[4] However, due to Russia's war in Ukraine, Germany is considering delaying the closure of some lignite power plants and is also considering bringing some recently closed lignite plants back online.[5]

Project Details

  • Operator: LEAG
  • Owners: Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH; 50%) and PPF Investments (50%)[6]
  • Location: near Weißwasser and Boxberg in Saxony, Germany
  • GPS Coordinates: 51.457109, 14.574709 (exact)
  • Mine Status: Operating
  • Production: 16.1 million tons per year (2021)[2]
  • Total Resource:
  • Total Reserves:
  • Coal Type: lignite
  • Mine Size: 107 km2
  • Mine Type: Surface
  • Start Year: 1968
  • Retirement Year: 2031 (expected)
  • Source of Financing:
  • Number of employees:

Articles and resources


  1. Germany's Three Lignite Mining Regions, Clean Energy Wire, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Business Fields: Mining", LEAG website, accessed June 2022.
  3. "Germany: Law on Phasing-Out Coal-Powered Energy by 2038 Enters into Force", US Library of Congress website, August 31, 2020.
  4. Analysis of power plant closure plans for Germany’s Lusatian mining district, The Oeko-Institut, accessed June 2022.
  5. "Germany to demolish village for coal, despite phaseout plans", E&E News, April 13, 2022.
  6. Overview Company, LEAG website, accessed June 2022.

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External resources

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