Promoting Sustainable Mining Industries

Review of the Insight Session on 23 April 2024

Die Zeche Zollverein aus der Vogelperspektive
Photo: Zeche Zollverein

The online event took place on 23 April and explored the challenges and opportunities in promoting sustainable mining industries and the critical role of cities in driving positive change in the sector. Key discussion points included:

  • The role of cities in promoting sustainable mining industries: How can cities actively contribute to the promotion of sustainable mining practices, taking into account environmental and social impacts?
  • Maximising benefits for local communities: What strategies are in place to ensure that mining activities best benefit local communities, both economically and socially?
  • Repurposing closed mining sites: What innovative approaches exist to transform them into new assets for communities and promote sustainable development?

The event featured insightful inputs from various sources:

Essen, Zeche Zollverein

Dr. Helena Lischka from Zeche Zollverein, City of Essen, Germany, shared insights from the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site, highlighting best practices in sustainable mining site management. Dr. Lishka presented how the site was revitalized to be a cultural hub and shared the process of how new buildings and structures are being embedded into the site.
Presentation [pdf, 12,2 mb]


Municipality of Chiatura, Mining Museum

In the Municipality of Chiatura, former mining facilities were converted into a museum. Nestled in western Georgia, the municipality of Chiatura encompasses a variety of administrative units, including the city of Chiatura and several communities. Spanning an area characterized by mountains, hills, and plains, Chiatura is home to approximately 39,800 residents. Notably, the town holds historical significance as one of Georgia's pioneering industrial centers, particularly renowned for its manganese industry.
Presentation [pdf, 0,5 mb]


Tkibuli Municipality, Rail to Trail: Repurposing of a defunct railway into a hiking trail

An old, defunct coal mining railway line was repurposed and transformed into a hiking trail. Situated in west-central Georgia, Tkibuli boasts a rich history dating back to the mid-19th century when coal mining operations commenced. Despite facing economic challenges over the years, Tkibuli remains a vital coal mining hub, supporting the livelihoods of around 8,562 residents. Additionally, the region is celebrated for its tea cultivation and scenic landscapes, making it an ideal location for the proposed rail-to-trail project.
Presentation [pdf, 3,7mb]


Zestaponi Municipality: Touristic attractions within the ferroalloy plant

As the administrative epicenter of Zestaponi District, Zestaponi holds significance as both an industrial and historical hub in western Georgia. Notably, the town is renowned for its ferroalloy plant, a key contributor to the global manganese supply. Furthermore, Zestaponi boasts a rich cultural heritage, including centuries-old winemaking traditions.
Presentation [pdf, 1,8mb]





Overall, the event provided a valuable platform to learn from the experienced city of Essen and share experiences on sustainable urban development practices. The event was attended by participants from various sectors, including decision-makers, urban planners and industry experts, all working in the field of promoting sustainable mining industries in South East Europe/Caucasus. Due to the great interest of various municipalities and the limited time during which not all topics could be addressed and challenges answered, the formation of a working group was announced. In addition, the participants agreed to organise another insight session to discuss their challenges in greater depth among the municipalities in South-East Europe/Caucasus and to develop possible solutions.