Closure of Germany's last black coal mine signals end of an era

Last Modified: Fri Dec 21 2018 17:29:51 GMT+0530 (India Standard Time)
  • 21 Dec 2018
    Germany's last operating black coal mine - Prosper Haniel - in Bottrop will be formally closed in the presence of dignitaries from across the country. The closure turns the page on two centuries of mining history in the Ruhr region that helped fuel the country's post-war "economic miracle.
  • €170
    Loss incurred per tonne of coal in the country. Average production cost is €250 per tonne but only sells for €80 in the market. Over €40bn has been spent since 1998 to subsidize coal production.
  • 2007
    Chancellor Angela Merkel's government decided to phase out subsidies and close the last black-coal mine by 2018 - giving the workers of Prosper-Haniel 11 years' notice.
  • 120
    Estimated number of coal plants that will continue to operate in the country, which means a dependence on imports - mostly from Russia (19.7 million tons), USA (9.1 million tons ) and Columbia. Germany will also continue to mine its reserves of lignite (brown coal) which is cheaper to mine.
  • 1,500
    Number of workers at the mine among the last 5,700 miners still employed in the country. In 2007 the number of miners were close to 30,000 and was as high as 600,000 in the mid 1950s.