It takes nearly five minutes for the lift to reach the foot of the mineshaft. The ride down is solemn and quiet, the silence broken only by the gentle clanking of the cage on its vertical tracks. Light from the torches hanging around our necks sways across the lift’s floor as we descend. At the bottom, we pass a few old carts that used to ferry iron ore back and forth through these dim, rust-coloured tunnels. The Konrad mine in Salzgitter, Germany, produced iron for more than a century, from 1867 to 1976. Over the years its labyrinth was extended to depths up to 1,300m (4,300ft) below street level. But the disused mine now has a new role – one that could last hundreds of thousands of years.
BBC 16th Feb 2017 read more »