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. It is part of a project intended to open up an area for the mining of brown coal. The redirection will enable mining company Hornonitrianske Bane of Prievidza employing about 4,000 people to continue extracting coal for several more years, the SITA newswire reported.
The Government has paid 30 percent of the cost of the project in order to maintain employment in the region and make use of domestic energy sources. This fully complied with EU norms and recommendations, Prime Minister Robert Fico said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
The current investment amounts to €36.513 million. The new river bed is 1,850 metres long and has been moved by 500 to 700 metres from the old one.
There are about ten million tonnes of brown coal reserves in the area, of which 7.2 million tonnes can be mined. The mining company will extract 400,000 to 600,000 tonnes annually.
According to project manager Stanislav Gurský, preparations for the new mine represents one of the largest and most technically-demanding investments in coal mining in Slovakia over the past 40 years.
30. Mar 2009 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports