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KIEV, September 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s coal mining in August slumped by 60% in contrast to the same month of last year, the state statistics service said. According to the agency, last month’s coal output totalled 2.2 million tons.
The hostilities in the Donbass coal fields have put the Ukrainian mining industry on the verge of collapse, First Deputy Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuriy Zyukov said.
“Coal production is down to a catastrophic level. There is a shortage of coal for thermoelectric power plants. Ukraine will now have to import coal to compensate for the shortfall," Zyukov said.
“Whereas before state-run coalmines produced about 70,000 tons of coal a day, now production has been down to 20,000 tons,” he said. At the moment, 24 coalmines in Donbass are still operating. Fifteen coalmines have been destroyed and about 50 of them are operating in the life support mode. They are being ventilated and water is being pumped out.