Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Handlová mine - a source of (risky) jobs

p>The Eastern shaft in the Handlová mine, the scene of the August 10 catastrophe as well as a rich source of Slovakia’s best-quality brown coal, belongs among the most dangerous mines in the country because it is literally full of methane, a very explosive gas. The mine is equipped with sensors to monitor the concentration of methane in the air and whenever the concentration rises to an explosive level, the electrical installation in the whole mine is switched off and miners are signalled to leave, the director of the Slovak Mining Chamber, Fedor Boroška, told the Sme daily.

p>The Eastern shaft in the Handlová mine, the scene of the August 10 catastrophe as well as a rich source of Slovakia’s best-quality brown coal, belongs among the most dangerous mines in the country because it is literally full of methane, a very explosive gas. The mine is equipped with sensors to monitor the concentration of methane in the air and whenever the concentration rises to an explosive level, the electrical installation in the whole mine is switched off and miners are signalled to leave, the director of the Slovak Mining Chamber, Fedor Boroška, told the Sme daily.

Coal extracted from mines in the Upper Nitra region is also 10 times younger than the hard black coal in the Ostrava region, which means that it is considerably less stable and poses a higher risk of rockslides. This is what happened in Nováky where four miners died in 2006, said geologist Martin Šuran, as reported by Sme.

Coal extraction at Handlová ceased in 1990 and the mine was closed down by a government decision which, according to HNB general director Peter Čičmanec, was made for economic reasons rather than safety concerns. Coal mining was restarted in 2003, based on a decision of the Slovak government made in 1993. The state has been supporting mining as a source of jobs in this relatively poor region of the country.

Coal mining companies received subventions worth more than €3.2 million from the state budget in 2008 and the privately-owned HNB company received almost €500,000 of that sum. The state also guarantees demand for coal extracted from Slovak mines. For instance, Slovenské Elektrárne is obliged to buy coal for its power plant in Nováky, the only one fired with brown coal, exclusively from domestic sources, Sme reported.


Top stories

Sagan rewrites history Video

Cyclist Peter Sagan becomes the first man to win three consecutive world championships.

When the state can’t keep a secret

A selective leak has tarnished President Kiska’s reputation. But he must continue to speak out about corruption.

President Andrej Kiska

Námestie Slobody gets facelift Photo

The architectural tender will gather ideas for the redesign of the biggest square in Bratislava

Námestie Slobody will be redesigned into a kind of living room in the city.

Fundamental values explored at Divadelná Nitra 2017

This time round, the Slovak, European and US ensembles at the theatre festival focus on #fundamentals, i.e. basic values and the essence of all things.

Nature Theatre of Oklahoma: Pursuit of Happiness