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The Cabinet at its meeting approved the Action Plan on stopping illegal coal mining in Ukraine, the Information-Analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine informs.
Experts from the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry explain that illegal mines still exist in Lugansk and Donetsk regions in the absence of a strict government control and thought-out reforms in the coal industry.
Energy market experts say illegal coal mining has become uncontrollable by the state. It is detrimental for the domestic economy and environment. The illegal mines are unsafe, roof often falls resulting in serious injury or even death.
According to experts of the energy market, recently the volume of illegal coal production reached a record high – 6 million tons , or about 10% of the total coal mined in the country. According to their calculations, those who own illegal mines and patronize them make a minimum of 2 billion UAH annually.
According to the Plan, it is envisioned to carry out several measures to stop illegal coal mining, bring the perpetrators to justice, and make them refund the losses incurred by the State.
It is also planned to start monitoring coal deposit areas using remote sensing data and geographic information technologies. This should help identify locations of illegal coal mines and develop a register of such locations.
The large scale of illegal operations gives reason to believe that they are assisted by the law enforcement agencies and local authorities. Therefore, the plan envisages investigating the corruption component in the illegal coal mining, as well as involvement of public authorities.