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Diepenlinchen Mine, Mausbach, Stolberg, Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 50° 45' 56'' North , 6° 16' 27'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 50.765437248, 6.27420002514
Name(s) in local language(s):Grube Diepenlinchen, Mausbach, Stolberg, Aachen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutschland


The Diepenlinchen mine was one of the most important mines of the Aachen-Stolberg Zn-Pb ore district. The occurrences are hosted by devonian and carboniferous sediments - mostly limestones, sand-, silt- and mudstones. Mineralization is structurally controlled and of low temperature hydrothermal origin. It is considered to be of post-Variscan age and similar to the Mississipi Valley Type deposits. The ore occurs as fissure veins and vein or veinlet boxworks (called 'stockworks'). Besides the vein type deposits also concordant orebodies are known which occur in fracture zones along bedding or longitudinal faults particularly where these are intersected by cross-faults. Mineralized karst-sinks have been described as 'ore-pipes' or 'ore-caves'.

The mineralization of the Aachen-Stolberg Zn-Pb ore district consists in the upper levels - down to around 60 m, maximum 100 m - predominantly of Calamine, Limonite and relics of primary sulphide ore towards depth. As a particularity at Diepenlinchen calamine was mined down to 300 m depth. The primary sulphide paragenesis is dominated by Schalenblende with a variable content of Galena and Marcasite. The pale layers of the Schalenblende only contain Sphalerite, in the dark layers also Wurtzite may be present. Some veins carry silver-rich galena as main ore mineral. Between the compact schalenblende and the wallrock often an impregnation zone can be observed with idiomorphic crystals of Sphalerite, Pyrite crystals, Tetrahedrite, Chalcopyrite and Quartz. Marcasite generally was precipitated at the final stage of the ore mineralization and hence forms the outermost layers of the schalenblende. Bravoite is a characteristic mineral of the paragenesis.

Mining in the area of the Diepenlinchen concession goes back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries when the romans extracted calamine for brass manufacturing. Also galena was mined at that time. From the 16th to the 19th century small scale calamine mining operations were carried out.

The Diepenlinchen concession is geologically positioned at the NE-end of the Werth syncline, SE of the city of Stolberg. The syncline is formed by sedimentary rocks of Couvinean to Visean age. The strata strike SW-NE with a steep dip at the Southern flank and a flat at the Northern flank. The concession covers a size of 8 km2. Commodities were Pb, Zn, Fe, Cu, the concession was still owned by Metallgesellschaft (Stolberger Zink) in 1990. The concession was created in the first quarter of the 19th century by the consolidation of numerous small claims

In 1809 Bäumer, Buchacker & Cie. were granted a concession on Pb ore, Calamine and 'Ironstone'. An underground mining operation was established reaching 80 m depth. Water problems caused the early installation of steam machines but nevertheless mining wasn´t successfull. In 1820 the works were stopped and the concession was leased to miners from the nearby village Mausbach.

The industrial mining period started in 1838. The Diepenlinchen mine was operated by the METALLURGISCHE GESELLSCHAFT and their followers KOMMANDITGESELLSCHAFT DE SASSENAY & CIE. and STOLBERGER GESELLSCHAFT. Exploitation at the Diepenlinchen mine lasted until 1919 with the deepest level reaching 376 m. From 1855 to 1919 450,000 t of Zn concentrate and 150,000 t of Pb concentrates have been produced. The ore grade was 14% ZnS and 3% PbS on average. The closure of the mine was related to the impact of World War I. The extraction tonnage decreased during WW I and severe problems of coal transport for the power plants supply led to a critical situation at the mine. The actual inducement of the closure was a general strike in 1919. Estimated remaining reserves are > 1 million tonnes of ore. In 1927/28 a flotation processing plant with a capacity of 5 tons per hour was built in order to recover the base metal content of the older tailings. In 1933 more than 4,000 t of ore concentrate could be extracted. The flotation plant was finally closed in 1942 and the last chapter of ore mining in Stolberg came to an end.

The Diepenlinchen concession comprised the following sites/occurrences:
Deposits in Devonian reef limestone: Doerrenberg, 'Lichtloch VII' of Dohm gallery, Theuerkauf, Scheidt, Mausbacher Hecken.
Deposits in Carboniferous limestone (from SW to NE): Henriette site with 2 veins and nests. Diepenlinchen site with nest no. II with 'Gang IV', nest no. I with 'Gang III', 'Schwefelkies' stockwork, 'Brennessel' stockwork, Brennesselgang, 'Weissbleierz' stockwork, 'Andreasgang', 'Leongang', nest at main shaft, 'Gang V', 'Gang III', 'Heinrich stockwork' with 'Gang I' and 'II'.'Ludwiggang','neuer Franzgang','alter Franzgang','Johanngang', 2 nameless veins, 'Gang VI', 'Weissenberg' stockwork, 'Schwarzgruben' nest. Neuer Simon site with 5 small veins (Streifen I to V). Alter Simon site with 2 nests. Hitzberg site with only some small nests and veinlets. Alter Ravelsberg site with small unnamed veins and 'Gang I and II'.

The Diepenlinchen mine produced quite a few good mineral specimens. From the main site beautiful Calcite crystals on colloform Schalenblende are noticeable. The most known specimens are beautifully banded Schalenblende samples. The best ones were found at the Henriette shaft site.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

33 valid minerals.

Localities in this Region

Germany

The above list contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.

References

- Schiffmann, W. (1888): Die geognostischen Verhältnisse und die Erzlagerstätten der Grube Diepenlinchen bei Stolberg. - Zeitschr. für das Berg-, Hütten- und Salinenwesen.
- Gussone, R. (1964): Untersuchungen und Betrachtungen zur Paragenesis und Genesis der Blei- Zink- Erzlagerstätten im Raume Aachen-Stolberg. - PhD thesis, RWTH Aachen, Aachen.
- Aufschluss 90(2), 111-130
- Dunkel, F. (1989): Das Erzbergwerk "Diepenlinchen". - Arbeitskreis Pfarr- und Ortschronik Mausbach.
- Friedrich, G., Redecke, P. & Lang, R. (1990): AACHEN-STOLBERG PB-ZN DEPOSIT. - unpublished report for NICRON France S.A.
- Redecke, P.(1992): Zur Geochemie und Genese variszischer und postvariszischer Buntmetallmineralisation in der Nordeifel und der niederrheinischen Bucht. - PhD thesis, RWTH Aachen, Aachen.
- Holtz, F. (1996): Zink- Blei- Erze des Stolberger Raumes. - Ed. Heimat- und Handwerksmuseum, Stolberg. 2nd, revised edition, xx pp.

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