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Donbass major coal producer says 30% of its mines not operating due to blockade

February 17, 2015, 10:08 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Makeevugol currently produces 3,400 tons per day, and the figure is 1,000 tons lower than expected
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©  Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. One third of coal pits of a major coal producing group in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas are not active now and Kiev’s current blockade prevents their restoration, Makeevugol’s director general said on Tuesday.

Only five and a half coal mines of Makeevugol’s nine coal producing subdivisions are operating, while three of them are not producing coal at all, Mikhail Nichipor said in the interview with the Donetsk news agency.

"There are multiple destructions in practically all the affected subdivisions: the buildings and facilities have no windows, while the construction and mechanical facilities, as well as electric substations, have been damaged," the Makeevugol head said.

The restoration works are hampered as Kiev has banned the supplies of the necessary equipment and materials there, he said, adding that affects the plans of increasing the coal production in 2015 by one million tons to 2.7 million tons.

Makeevugol currently produces 3,400 tons per day, and the figure is 1,000 tons lower than expected, he stressed.

The Ukrainian government last year failed to pay Makeevugol almost 172 million hryvnias (more than $6.5 million at the current exchange rate) in September-October wage arrears to miners.

In mid-October 2014, the Kiev authorities issued a decree on suspending the financing for the company. Makeevugol filed a lawsuit with an appeal court, but the representatives of Ukraine’s finance ministry and ministry of energy and coal industry have failed to appear in the court twice.

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