Four Ukrainian coal mines in Kryviy Rih suspended operations indefinitely on Oct. 10 following a Russian missile strike on the city, according to Oleksandr Vilkul, the head of the city's administration.
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Kryviy Rih is located in the Dnipropetrovsk region, which is the largest coal-producing area in Ukraine. About 55% of the country's total coal output in 2021 was produced in the Dnipropetrovsk region, according to the energy ministry.
The missile strike, which followed attacks by Russian forces against infrastructure across Ukraine, shut off power supplies to the four mines, initially trapping miners underground and disabling equipment and ventilation, according to the statement.
Following the strike, all of the miners were evacuated to the surface, Vilkul said in the statement.
As a result of the missile attacks, Ukraine has suspended exports of power to the EU until domestic power grid is stabilized, the energy ministry said on Oct. 11.
Ukraine is heavily rely on coal for power and heat production, with its largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhia NPP, currently shut down due to continuous shelling in the area.
Ukraine's coal stocks fell to about 2 million mt as of Sept. 30, down from 2.2 million mt as of Sept. 14, due to strong demand from power producers. The country plans to accumulate 2.5 million mt before the start of the heating season later this month.
The six-month high-demand season in Ukraine usually begins on Oct. 15 and lasts through April 15, but local government across the country decide on when to start the centralized heating depending on outside air temperature.
Ukraine extracted 29.39 million mt of coal in 2021, up 2% year-on-year.
The government has stopped releasing coal production data since the start of the war.