Prague - The Industry Ministry plans to explore a giant black coal deposit under the Beskids mountain range in order to determine whether or not to allow mining in the locality.
The ministry wants the exploration plan to be included in the natural resource policy plan currently being prepared.
According to the Industry Ministry's report, there are 1.6 billion tons of high-quality black coal located beneath the Beskids mountain range. If this estimate is correct, the deposit is unrivaled in the EU.
"The Frenstat locality is probably the last significant deposit of coking and energetic black coal in the Czech Republic," said the Industry Ministry in its draft version of the new natural resources policy plan. The report has been sent to other ministries and offices for review and comments.
Aktualne.cz has the document at its disposal.
The ministry said in the document that it is necessary to conduct geological exploration in order to evaluate the deposit's potential and determine whether to allow mining or not.
However, the deposit is partially located under a protected natural area, and local municipalities strongly oppose the exploration plan. They consider it the first step of future mining activities that would negatively affect the landscape as well as the local tourist industry.
Trojanovice mayor Jiri Novotny said that the zone has already been sufficiently explored. Novotny also accused the ministry of pursuing the interests of OKD, a private mining company.
"The state has enough information to protect the Frenstat deposit from speculative exploration by a private mining company that, with the state's support, exports 57 percent of this strategic natural resource across the border of the republic," said Novotny.
autor: Pavel Baroch