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End of coal

Project about the end of hard coal mining in Europe. We visited several countries on several continents. We went deep underground; we stayed firmly on the ground, and keep a watchful eye from the air – to show both those countries that have already finished coal exploitation, as well as those that are in the process of quitting coal and those which will have to face it in future.

About the documentary

Accompanying projects

Timeline

1366 - The first documents which stated that Bolko II the Small granted the Sachenkirchen family the right to build a heritable adit in Stary Zdrój near Wałbrzych. "It is not known, however, which mineral was mined there," writes Adam Frużyński in "Zarys dziejów górnictwa węgla kamiennego w Polsce". However, taking into account the location of the tunnel, it can be assumed that it was coal.

New mines – a blessing or a course

The Polish government announced phasing out hard coal as an energy source by 2049. The latest mining plant which started running in Poland was the Budryk mine in Ornontowice in the 1990s. Today, a new coal mine is built by Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa. However, only coking coal needed for steel production will be extracted there (by the way, such a mine is also planned in the “carbon neutral” UK). Coking coal is on the EU’s list of strategic raw materials, while steam coal is in retreat.