Bilina coal mine

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The Bilina coal mine is a SURFACE mine in the Teplice District in the Ústí nad Labem Region of the Czech Republic.[1]


The satellite photo below shows the exact location of the Bilina coal mine.[2]

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The Bílina mine is owned and operated by Severočeské doly A.S which in turn is owned by ČEZ Group.

Severočeské doly is the largest Czech brown coal mining company. It also owns and operates Nastup Tusimice coal mine. In 2021, Severočeské doly sold a total of 15.9 million tonnes of coal 2021, 11.7 of which was to the power plants within CEZ Group.[3] Since a majority of its production is intended for consumption within ČEZ Group, Severočeské doly is one of the smaller players in the free coal market. In 2022, the company sold 17.8 million tonnes of coal, the reason for the significant increase was mainly due to the energy crisis in Europe and the need to secure the electricity missing from the gas supply.[4]

Geological conditions at Bílina Mine are complex. A seam up to 42m in thickness of high‑quality low‑sulfur coal is found at varying depths, divided by rock interburden and covered with layers of overlying claystone and sandstone. Therefore, very much depends on the organization of work associated with overburden stripping and actual coal mining. Overburden thickness reaches up to 200m and is stripped by excavators. All overburden is deposited on the internal dump, which is gradually reclaimed after continual partial completion of mining operations.[5] Bílina Mine stands out not only in terms of stripped overburden volumes (more than 50 mil. m3 per year), but also it being the absolute deepest of mining sites.[5]

All extracted coal volumes are destined for the 8-km journey by long‑distance belt conveyors to the coal preparation plant Ledvice. Coal preparation is an integral part of the mine's activities. Bílina raw coal, characterized by a high calorific value (in average from 9.5 to 20.0 MJ/kg), low sulphur, bitumen and other pollutants is transformed into final coal products. Coal is crushed, graded and separated there at Ledvice processing plant. [6][5]

The mine supplies to Ledvice power station, Melnik power station, and large power plants.[7]

In 2021, a total of 8.1 million tonnes of coal were mined.[7] 2022 coal production reached 9.2 million tonnes.[8]

In 2015, the government revoked the mining limit for the Bílina mine, but extended the mining licence to 2055. On the basis of an environmental impact assessment, in 2019 the Ministry of the Environment confirmed the extension of the Bílina mining limit from 2030 to 2055, but set conditions to limit the impact on the local population.[9]

Proposed Extension

In 2017, it was announced that the coal mine will expand. According to Radio Prague International, in January 2017:[2]

'Following the unique lifting of limits on brown coal mining by the government in Bílina, North Bohemia, the Bílina Mine has formally set the ball rolling to be allowed to mine more than 150 million tonnes of coal still in the ground."

The mine has proposed extracting 150 million tonnes from 2019 to 2035, approximately 9.3 million tonnes per annum.[10] Citizen groups opposed the expansion.[11]

The government elected in October 2021 called for a phase out of coal by 2033, encouraging Europe Beyond Coal to call for abandoning the Bilina mine expansion.[12][13]

However, the energy crisis of 2022 has triggered debates in the Czech Republic about the possible extension and expansion of coal mining. According to EU Parliamentary questions document from January 2023, Severočeské doly is currently preparing an application to extend mining at the Bílina mine from 2030 to 2035, with the possibility of extending mining to 2050 in a second phase. Both of these plans contradict the Czech Government’s declaration of an end to coal mining and burning by 2033.[14]

In June 2023, Greenpeace activists from across Europe occupied equipment at the Bilina coal mine to protest against plans to extend the life of the mine until at least 2035. The Czech government’s District Mining Office approved the Bílina mine extension permit in March 2023. However Greenpeace Czechia appealed against it, meaning the approval was not legally binding. According to Greenpeace, if the extension is approved, it will mean an extra 50 million tonnes of coal will be extracted from Bílina, which, according to the Czech Ministry of the Environment’s assessment, will cause the release of an estimated 11.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year on average.That means, in just five years, Bílina will produce roughly half of the yearly CO2 emission that Czechia produced in 2020 alone. The Czech government has the power to stop the mine from being enlarged by cancelling the mine’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) permit, or by issuing an official statement against the prolongation of the mining which would be legally binding for mining authority.[15]

Greenpeace later attended the company's General Meeting in June 2023, minutes of which (in Czech) are available.[16] Greenpeace highlighted that besides the plan to continue mining until 2035, the company also considers mining in Bilina well into the 2050s. There is no mine reclamation plan after 2035.[17]

Mine Details

  • Owner: Severočeské doly AS [2][18]
  • Parent company: ČEZ AS[19]
  • Location: Near the Bílina city, in the Teplice District in the Ústí nad Labem Region of the Czech Republic[2]
  • GPS coordinates: 50.569659, 13.710986 (exact)
  • Mine status: Operating
  • Production: 8.8 million tonnes (2019)[19]; 8.1 million tonnes (2021)[7], 9.2 million tonnes (2022)[8]
  • Mineable reserves: 155 million tonnes[20]
  • Mine type: Surface
  • Coal type: Lignite (Thermal
  • Start Year:
  • Mine size: 44 square kilometres[5]
  • Number of employees:1,441[5]

Articles and resources


  1. Czech Republic Country Profile, Euracoal, accessed August 2020
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Jan Velinger BÍLINA MINE PREPARES FOR EXPANSION OF COALMINING AREA IN NORTHERN BOHEMIA Radio Prague International, Jan 16, 2018
  3. "CEZ Group 2021 Annual Report" (PDF). 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. "CEZ 2022 Annual report" (PDF). 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 SEVEROČESKÉ DOLY FACTS AND FIGURES 2015
  6. "DOLY BÍLINA". Retrieved February 2023. {{cite web}}: Check date values in: |access-date= (help); External link in |website= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Severoceske Doly 2021 Annual Report (translated), page 42 and 42" (PDF). 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Severočeské doly a.s. Výroční zpráva 2022 (translated)". 2023. {{cite web}}: line feed character in |title= at position 37 (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. "IEA - Czech Republic Review 2021" (PDF). 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. The Long and Winding Road: European Public Funding for Fossil Fuel Dependent Companies and the Need for Decarbonization Pathways, Bankwatch, September 2018
  11. Severočeské doly wants further coal mining People from Bílina cancel their journey to the mountains Zdroj,, Dec. 17, 2018
  12. The Czech Republic’s recently elected government has pledged to phase out the use of coal in the country’s energy production by 2033, E&T, January 7, 2022
  13. "CZECH REPUBLIC COMMITS TO 2033 COAL EXIT WHICH WILL NEED TO BE SPED UP". January 2022. {{cite web}}: External link in |website= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. "Coal mining and the Just Transition Fund". January 2023. {{cite web}}: External link in |website= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. "BREAKING: Greenpeace activists climb coal excavator to protest against Czech mine extension". June 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. "ZÁPIS O JEDNÁNÍ ŘÁDNÉ VALNÉ HROMADY". June 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. "Konec uhlí v ohrožení. ČEZ se stále nevzdal těžby na Bílině do roku 2050". / August 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. SD The Bílina Mines (Doly Bílina) accessed Nov. 22, 2019
  19. 19.0 19.1 R 2018 cez group Annual report, 2019
  20. SD Group Geology, organizational website, accessed Nov 21 2019

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