Karvina coal mines

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This article is part of the Global Coal Mine Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

The Karvina coal mines are a cluster of underground mine operations, owned by OKD, producing 4 million tonnes per annum, in eastern Silesia, Czech Republic.[1]

The operating mines include Darkov, ČSM-Sever, ČSM-Jih, and ČSA (Czech Army Mine). A proposed expansion site, Frenštát, is also in the Karvina mine area, but the project is currently mothballed.

OKD has suggested it may close all operations by 2021 or 2022.[2]


The map below shows the location of Karvina mines.[1]

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Karvina mines are located within the Ostrava-Karviná coal basin, which in turn is a part of the Upper-Silesian basin.[1]

OKD's mining activities in Karvina are divided into two major "operations" and five mine sites.

Mine Operation 1

The first operation covers two mines: ČSA mine and Darkov mine. The former Lazy mine closed in 2019.

According to the company wesbite:

The ČSA mine was established on 1 July 1995 by merging the two formerly separate mines ČSA and Doubrava. In fact, its history is much older and goes as far as the early beginnings of coal mining in the Karviná region. It was probably here where the first reports of hard coal discoveries at the Kamienčok site originated in the 18th century. In 1780, mining activities were launched by Count J. E. Larisch-Mönnich. In 1856, local mines were grouped into one business. That year is also considered to be the foundation date of the today’s ČSA Site.

The Larisch-Mönnich family owned these mines until they were expropriated in 1945. In 1951, a state-owned business “Velkodůl Čs. armády” was established here involving an extensive reconstruction.

There is an old history of coal mining at the area of former mine Doubrava as well. Baron Richard Mattencloit was searching for coal here as early as 1822. Shallow diggings gave rise to a mining company in 1836 owned jointly by Mattencloit and Larisch-Mönnich.

According to the company website:

The history of the present Darkov Site dates back to the mid 19th century. At that time, several new mines were established and they were merged under Darkov Mine later on. These were in particular the following mines: Gabriela (established in 1852), Hohenegger (1880) and Austria (1898). These mines underwent numerous changes; their names changed several times.

In the 1950s, they were merged into the “Velkodůl 1. máj” that was renamed Darkov Mine on 2 May 1991. There were some organizational changes after the year 1990. At the beginning of 1993 the sites Darkov and Mír merged.

As coal reserves were depleted in the 9. květen Site coal field, Sites 2 and 3 were merged on 1 April 2012 into a single site – Darkov Site. It was then renamed Darkov Mine in autumn 2013.

Mine Operation 2

The second operation covers North and South ČSM Mines, which are located in the eastern part of the Karviná coal district.[3]

According to the company website:

The history of ČSM Mine is relatively short as it began after the Second World War only. In the 1950s, first exploration holes were drilled around the Stonava community confirming the existence of all carboniferous strata. These results led to a decision to build a mine with two sites (ČSM North and ČSM South). The construction declared as the "Construction Project of the Youth" started on 16 June 1959. Due to complicated hydro-geological and gas conditions, coal production could have started only at the end of 1968. An extensive investment construction continued also in the 1990s and, in particular, after 2000. Therefore the mine’s lifetime has been significantly extended in comparison with the original forecasts.

In 2013, OKD issued a press release stating it was working "to expand the coal mining activities at the ČSA site of the Karviná Mine in new areas thus extending the mine’s lifetime until 2035." Homes were purchased and demolished for this expansion. The press release claimed that "Karviná Mine should start mining first coal in the new areas in 2016."[4] These estimates appear to have been proven correct.

2018 Explosion

In 2018, an explosion in the Karvina coal mine killed 13 people.[5] Methane levels were 4.5 times the allowable level in the OKD mine at the time of the explosion, according to Bohuslav Machek, spokesman for the Czech mining authority.[6]

2020 Coronavirus outbreak

In May 2020, 53 cases of coronavirus infection were detected among workers tested at the Darkov mine.[7] Despite this situation, ODK said that it was continuing to operate as usual.[8]

Project Details

  • Owner: OKD, a.s.[9]
  • Parent company: KARBON INVEST, a. s., whose majority shareholder is RPG Industries, Ltd[9]
  • Location: Ostrava-Karviná coal basin, Czech Republic[1]
  • GPS coordinates: 49.844561, 18.494387[1]
  • Mine status: operating
  • Start year: 1950[10]
  • Mineable reserves: 84.8 million tonnes (34 proven, 50.8 probable)[11] Karviná (OKD1): 19.9 million tonnes (Proven and Probable, 2020) [12]
  • Coal type: bituminous[13]
  • Mine size:
  • Mine type: Underground[13]
  • Production: 4 million tonnes per annum[14]

Karviná (OKD1): 2.36 million tonnes [12]

  • Additional proposed production:
  • Equipment:
  • Number of employees: 8,400[2]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 OKD OSTRAVA-KARVINÁ COAL BASINorganizational site, accessed Nov 23, 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 Czech OKD looks to close all coal mines as early as 2021 or 2022, New Europe, July 24, 2020
  3. OKD HOW COAL IS MINED IN OKD organizational website, accessed Nov 25, 2019
  5. Marc Santora Czech Coal Mine Explosion Kills at Least 13 New York Times Dec. 21, 2018
  6. Karl Janieck Death toll in Czech mine explosion increases to 13 WMC Action News, Dec 21, 2018
  7. Czech coronavirus cases show biggest rise in four weeks, infections hit coal mine Reuters, May 19, 2020
  8. Dozens of miners in Karvina contract coronavirus Radio Prague International, May 19, 2020
  9. 9.0 9.1 OKD AFTER 1990 organizational website, accessed Nov 23, 2019
  10. OKD MINES ČSA, LAZY AND DARKOV organizational website, accessed Nov 25, 2019
  11. Sustainability Report 2012 2012
  12. 12.0 12.1 New World Resources, "Karvina Mine", NWR website, Accessed May 2021
  13. 13.0 13.1 OKD Coal Mining organizational website, accessed Nov 23, 2019
  14. Czech coal miner OKD shuts mines for 6 weeks after virus outbreak, Reuters,July 2, 2020

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