Czech government approves coal mining expansion plan


Horni Jiretin – 10 November 2015
1. Aerial drone shot over Jezeri Chateau to tilt up to reveal coal mine in background
2. Aerial drone shot over ridge of coal to reveal excavating equipment
3. Various aerial drone shots of excavator
4. SOUNDBITE: (Czech) Vladimir Burt, Mayor of Horni Jiretin:
“The strip mining is extremely devastating. It destroys everything, everything alive and not alive, everything around it. So this is a big problem. When it comes to life surrounding the mine, it has very negative health and psychological impacts on people. It is extremely loud and dusty and so on, so the impact on lives is very unpleasant.”
5. Coal delivery conveyor belt, mine in background
6. Conveyor belt and skyline
7. Veins of coal in ridge line
8. Excavating equipment
Most – 10 November 2015
9. SOUNDBITE: (Czech) Gabriela Sarickova Benesova, Spokeswoman for Severni Enegeticka (mine operator):
“This is always open (mine expansion). I think until the last miner, there will always be a discussion about the limits.”
Horni Jiretin – 10 November 2015
10. Drone shot of conveyor belt to reveal of arm of excavator dumping coal
Prague – 28 October 2015
11. SOUNDBITE: (Czech) Jan Rovensky, climate expert, Greenpeace Czech Republic:
“There is intense public interest in saving houses for 2,200 people, in saving the environment as 23 square kilometres of landscape would be turned upside down in the case of lifting the limits (on the mine expansion), (and there is an interest) in safeguarding the health of tens of thousands of people of Northern Bohemia, and, last but not least, in saving the climate.”
Horni Jiretin – 10 November 2015
12. Coal conveyor belt
13. Close up drone shot of coal on conveyor belt
14. Ascending aerial from ridge line of coal to reveal coal mine and equipment
The Czech government has approved a plan to expand the mining of lignite, a fossil fuel known as brown coal.
Brown coal is a major source of greenhouse gases, according to climatologists.
In the Czech Republic, it is used in coal-fired power plants and is burnt for heating.
In 2014, Czech companies mined a total of 38.8 million metric tons, 5.5 percent less than the previous year.
With support from labour unions and regional leaders, the Czech government gave the green light in October for mining expansion beyond previously set limits.
The move will allow access to up to 120 million metric tons of coal in the northwest of the country despite protests from environmental groups and activists.
The government said the coal is needed to secure the country’s energy supply.
It is the first relaxation of the limits that were set in 1991 to prevent further environmental damage, two years after the collapse of the communist regime that heavily relied on heavy industry and coal mining.
Following the destruction of dozens of towns and villages to make way for coal mining under communism, the limits were also meant to safeguard local communities.
The government’s decision still prohibits mining that might affect populated areas that can change in the future.
A rich deposit of some 750 (m) million metric tons of coal is located right under the Czech town of Horni Jiretin and two nearby villages.
The current decision does not immediately mean an expansion of the mine near Horni Jiretin but the government said it will re-assess the country’s need of lignite every year until 2020.
This leaves Horni Jiretin, a 750-year old town with more than 2,200 residents in limbo.
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Czech government approves coal mining expansion plan

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