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The Miners’ Success of the Year
The mine was one of the winners of the competition Miners’ Success of the Year 2014 in the category of Ecology. On behalf of the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine S.A., Dariusz Wojciechowski, a member of the board, received the award during the gala presentation of awards at the Slowacki Theatre in Krakow.
The distinction was awarded for the project The protection of the surface and groundwater resources against negative effects of natural risks of the liquidated Barycz borehole mine adjacent to the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine.
The competition was organised by the Polish Mining Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the School of Underground Exploitation. The project was aimed at promoting and popularising innovative solutions of Polish underground mining. Awards are given to innovative projects that shape the positive image of the mining sector.
The first test holes were bored in Barycz at the end of the nineteenth century. Borehole mining was initiated at the western section of the Wieliczka salt deposit by means of underground leaching in 1924. The borehole mine operated till 1998. During the over 70-year period of exploitation 1,024 test holes and boreholes were drilled within the surface area of 3.3 square kilometres and 10.5 million tonnes of salt was mined from the deposit.
Mining was terminated in Barycz and the efficient protection of the natural environment as well as limiting the possibilities of mining damages in that area, in the future, became a priority. Liquidation works included backfilling the excavated voids with sand and injecting a special sealing mixture into the rock mass. Recultivation of the terrain was performed during the second phase of the project thanks to which the southern part of Krakow gained approximately 60 hectares of an ecological zone were almost 80,000 trees had been planted.