Minister of Energy, Development and Environmental Protection Zorana Mihajlovic has stated that the Serbian Government will not sell the public company for coal exploitation “Resavica”, in central Serbia, and added that the state would keep investing in new mining technologies and miners’ safety. On the occasion of Miners’ Day in Serbia, Minister of Finance and Economy Mladjan Dinkic and Minister of Natural Resources, Mining and Spatial Planning Milan Bacevic have visited today the mines in Bor and Kostolac, as well as the mining basin Kolubara. The report of Jelica Tapuskovic.
Zorana Mihajlovic has stated that the company will be preserved as a whole, and will not be fragmented. According to her, the Government wishes to help that public company “get back to its feet”, not just by receiving assistance from the state, but also by raising the degree of coal production. While visiting the new mine shaft, Mihajlovic stressed that it should be open in six months in order to reach the new layer of coal, thus securing the exploitation for the next 15 years or so. Investments in the new mining equipment and modern technology are the priority of the Government, she pointed out, with the goal of increasing production and improving miners’ safety. The minister announced that besides coal exploitation in Serbia, there is also the possibility of exploiting shale, especially around Aleksinac, where the biggest reserves have been found. As she said, that task would be probably realized through public tenders aimed at finding reliable strategic partners. Mihajlovic stated that the Government will soon present the program of development and priorities of investments in energy production and mining. She explained that some of the measures will include opening certain mining fields and completing energy projects, in order to provide enough electricity for the long term.
“With the purpose of gaining bigger amounts of coal, we must have the latest equipment, so that is our priority. Therefore, it is not important to discuss how to close, but how to improve the production and employ people, allowing them to live better without leaving these areas, while living off those mines”, said Mihajlovic.
Director of the Kostolac mining complex Dragan Jovanovic reminded that the first phase of modernizing the strip mine fields and power plants is under way, and underlined that the second installment of a Chinese credit for that purpose, amounting to 344 million dollars, had been paid to that company. He asked for the assistance of the competent ministry in realizing the second phase of the project, which includes the construction of a new thermal power plant in Kostolac in 2014. “Kostolac is a great developmental chance for Serbia, and in long term it could generate the development of an electric-machine construction field in Serbia”, said Jovanovic.
The Miners’ Day, August 6, is marked by the employees of more than 200 active mines in Serbia, in memory of the day in 1903, when a strike commenced in the Sinj mine, the first shaft in the country, in protest against the bad position of the miners. Back then, the strikers accomplished a better position and shorter working hours.