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Nitra River redirected to allow more coal mining

The flow of the Nitra River was redirected to a new river bed in Opatovce nad Nitrou in the district of Prievidza on March 24. The redirection was made to open up an area for extraction of brown coal, used for energy purposes. The redirection will enable the mining company Hornonitrianske Bane of Prievidza to continue extracting coals for several more years and give jobs to about 4,000 people in the region, the SITA newswire reported.

The flow of the Nitra River was redirected to a new river bed in Opatovce nad Nitrou in the district of Prievidza on March 24. The redirection was made to open up an area for extraction of brown coal, used for energy purposes. The redirection will enable the mining company Hornonitrianske Bane of Prievidza to continue extracting coals for several more years and give jobs to about 4,000 people in the region, the SITA newswire reported.

“The government of Slovakia has been supporting the mining sector for a long time and we have already significantly helped this mining company a couple of times, most recently with over Sk100 million (€3.32 million),” Prime Minister Robert Fico said while attending the engineering feat.

The current investment amounts to €36.513 million. The new river bed is 1,850 meters long and it has been moved by 500 to 700 meters from the old one. There are about ten million tonnes of geological reserves of brown coal in this extraction field on an area of 153 hectares, of which 7.2 million tonnes can be mined. The mining company should extract 400,000 to 600,000 tonnes annually.

President Ivan Gašparovič and Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek also came to see the redirection of the river flow into the new river bed. A protester appeared behind them carrying a banner saying “Stealing Like in Totalitarian Times, This is the Slovak Way of Freedom and Democracy.” The Prime Minister called the protestor an activist of the opposition presidential candidate, Iveta Radičová.

Compiled by Michaela Stanková from press reports
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