Bilorichenska coal mine

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Bilorichenska coal mine (Білоріченська) is state-owned and operated by Luhanskvuhillya in Bilorichenskyi Lutuhynskiy district, of Luhansk, Ukraine.

According to the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, most Donbas region mines were seized by Russians and pro-Russian rebels in late 2014 and many have endured electricity shortages and flooding ever since. The current output of the Donbas mines, including this one, is no longer transparent, and many are likely non-operational and on hiatus.[1]


The satellite photo below shows the exact location of the mine, near Bilorichens'kyi, in Lutuhyne Raion, Luhansk Oblast, Ukraine. The mine is located within the rebel-controlled territory of the so-called Luhansk People's Republic.

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The mine ranks among the largest in Ukraine. Its design and engineering of the mine began in 1949. The project was named Bilorichenska after Belaya river. The mine was planned in the area where "a burning stone" in the chalk deposits was found in the 18th century. The building of the shaft started in December 1950 and construction of the surface structures started in September 1951. The mine was commissioned in 1957.

In 1960–70, Bilorichenska miners became several times the winners of all-union socialist competitions. In 1975 the mine exceeded the targeted state plan and raised 670 thousand tons of coal. At this rate the mine continued to work for the following one and a half decades.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the production decreased rapidly due to lack of investments and technology. In 1996 coal production amounted to only 193 thousand of tons. By this time all the coal reserves of the coal beds Almaznyi and Kamenskiy series were exhausted.

In September 2002 a new shaft was put into exploitation, equipped with 3KD-90 heavy duty complex. Due to this, in 2003 for the first time in its history the mine acquired the capacity of 750 thousand tons. In 2008 the mine developed its first "1 million tons of coal" per year.

During the following seven years a series of faces along the L6 bed 725 m horizon were put into production, namely: the original eastern, 5th western, 2nd eastern, 2nd western, 6th western, 5th bis western, 3rd western and 1st bis eastern. Each of these faces is equipped with modern heavy duty complexes and machines.

In 2010 coal production at Bilorichenska amounted to 1.182 million tons. In 2011 one more face was put into production -7th western. Its production totalled above 100 thousand tons of coal per month. What is more, a Coal Dry Cleaning Machine was put into operation and a new Diesel House opened at the mine.

As of 2012, there are above 3000 employees at the mine.


After the collapse of the Soviet Union the mine belonged to the state owned Luhanskvuhillya coal mining group. In 2001, the mine declared insolvency and the re-capitalization process started. In 2002 the mine obtained a strategic partner Valentin-Invest, a holding company of Ukrainian businessman Igor Martynenkov, who obtained the majority stake in the mine while the state-owned shares decreased to 25.83%. The recapitalization plan was approved by court in 2007. This decision was annulled by the High Commercial Court of Ukraine in 2010.[2]

In 2012 the court decided to return the mine into the state ownership.[3] On 14 September 2012, the Ukrainian state took control over the mine by force. Some media sources links this action to the participation of Igor Martynenkov at the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election running against the candidate of the Party of Regions.[4]

Production safety

At the mine territory a rescue-workers school was built, which later became a basis for the only mine rescue station in Ukraine. Besides, in 2004 the mine purchased 14 units “YUREK-6”, what made it possible to equip all the main and local conveyor lines with fire-fighting systems.

The mined coal rank is "G" – electric-power coke. As of 1 June 2011 reserves of the mine amounted to 11.6 million tons. There is an opportunity to cut further spare reserves, following which the mineable reserves could amount up to 70 million tons of coal.

Social responsibility

Bilorichenska mine has renovated a culture centre and a nursing school "Rosinka" (Dewdrop) of Belorechenskiy settlement and opened a museum of Bilorichenska mine. In August 2011 gas lines were led in the settlement. Water supply and sewerage of Belorechenskiy township are provided managed by the mine.

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Luhanskvuhillya
  • Parent Company: State-Owned
  • Location: Bilorichens'kyi, Lutuhyne Raion, Luhansk Oblast, Ukraine
  • GPS Coordinates: 48.455534, 39.071417 (exact)
  • Status: Operating (Presumed on hiatus)
  • Production Capacity: 1.8 mtpa
  • Workforce Size: 3000
  • Mineable Reserves:11.6 million tonnes
  • Coal type: Bituminous
  • Mine Size:
  • Mine Type: Underground[5]
  • Start Year:
  • Source of Financing:


  1. Yulia Abibok, Ukraine’s Coal Industry in Crisis, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, January 22, 2021
  2. "ООО "Шахта Белореченская": банкротство как метод прихватизации?" [Bilorichenska Mine Ltd: bankruptcy as a method of grabbing?]. Ostrov (in Russian). 6 September 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2013.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  3. "Суд вернул шахту "Белореченская" в госсобственность из-за невыполнения обязательств инвестором – Луганская ОГА" [The court returned the Bilorichenska Mine to the state due to outstanding obligations by investor - Luhansk Regional State Administration]. Interfax-Ukraina (in Russian). 4 September 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2013.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  4. "Шахта "Белореченская": между бизнесом и политикой" [Bilorichenska Mine: between business and politics]. Delo (in Russian). 17 September 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2013.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named MG