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The crisis of coal mining in the Balkans

Stanari coal mine near Doboj in Republika Srpska
Stanari coal mine near Doboj in Republika Srpska

The whole coal mining sector in the Balkans is "characterized by high costs and staffing levels above commercial norms."[6]

Bosnia's coal production experienced a sharp decline during the war. Output in 1990 had been 18 million tonnes. In 2004, it stood at 8.3 million.

The World Bank estimated that to remain competitive the Bosnian coal industry would have to reduce its workforce from 15,000 to 3,000 miners.[7] This, it argued, was a regional problem: "around 100,000 jobs would need to be shed in order for the coal industry in South East Europe to be viable."[8]

The 2004 World Bank paper estimates current and future employment in the coal industry:

 

Current employment

labor force in viable industry

required reduction

 

 

 

 

Bosnia

15,000                                    

3,000

80 percent

Bulgaria

40,000                                    

5,000

80 percent

Romania

40,000                                    

7,000

83 percent

Serbia

25,000                                    

8,000

68 percent 

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