Germany closes last of black coal mines that shaped country

December 21, 2018 - 2:45 am

BERLIN (AP) — Germany is closing the last of its black coal mines, ending an industry that laid the foundations for the country's industrial revolution and its post-war economic recovery.

In a televised ceremony Friday, miners will hand German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier a symbolic last lump of coal hauled up from 1,200 meters (3,940 feet) below ground at the Prosper-Haniel mine in the western city of Bottrop.

The black coal mines that once dominated the Ruhr region have been in steady decline since the 1950s, surviving only thanks to generous government subsidies.

The end of the deep shaft mines is seen as a test for the planned closure of open-cast lignite, or brown coal, mines still operating in Germany.

The country generated about 37 percent of its electricity from coal last year.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()