Ministry of the Environment issued Uus-Kiviõli extraction permit to Eesti Energia

On 7 October, the Ministry of the Environment issued an extraction permit to Eesti Energia Kaevandused for the Uus-Kiviõli exploration field. According to the permit, the company is entitled to mine approximately 4.2 million tonnes of oil shale from the Uus-Kiviõli exploration field starting from 2014.

The Uus-Kiviõli extracting permit area, as a whole, contains approximately 208 million tonnes of oil shale. The extraction permit has been issued to Eesti Energia Kaevandused for 25 years.

"The Uus-Kiviõli extraction permit is vital for the security of supply of Estonia. This allows us to ensure a stable amount of oil shale for the production of both electricity and oil and this also after the closing of the Viru mine, and the Aidu and Vanaküla quarries in 2012–2013, where the approved annual mining volume is 5 million tonnes in total," said Veljo Aleksandrov, Chairman of the Management Board of Eesti Energia Kaevandused.

The preparation works for the construction of the mine will start at the first available opportunity and it will take up to five years from the opening of the mine to reach full capacity. Up to 700 miners will be employed at the Uus-Kiviõli mine. Evaluation of the environmental impact of the Uus-Kiviõli mine has been carried out with the perspective of being able to increase the annual mining volume to 6 million tonnes in the future.

According to the conditions set out in the Uus-Kiviõli extraction permit, Eesti Energia Kaevandused will ensure high-quality drinking water to the households in the neighbourhood of the mine by constructing bore wells for them. The impact of the mine water on the Purtse and Hirmuse rivers will be also continuously monitored.

The issuing of the permit also helps Eesti Energia Kaevandused to begin fulfilling the cooperation agreement concluded with Maidla Rural Municipality, which, among other things, includes the construction of a rowing canal in the Aidu quarry during the course of quarry closure operations. On 25 February 2011, Eesti Energia, Eesti Energia Kaevandused and Maidla Rural Municipality concluded a trilateral agreement, in which they agreed on the evaluation of, reduction of and compensation for the impact arising from the mining activity in the Aidu quarry and Uus-Kiviõli.

Until the opening of the Uus-Kiviõli mine, the company is planning to use the reserves of the Aidu III mine field. Aidu III contains 8.3 million tonnes of oil shale and an application has been submitted to extract 2.4 million tonnes per year. At present, the evaluation of environmental impact of Aidu III has also been concluded.

Eesti Energia Kaevandused provides five companies with oil shale and employs more than 3000 residents of Ida-Viru County.

Reimo Raja
Eesti Energia Press Officer
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