Australia’s Prairie Mining said it will open a coal mine in southeast Poland by 2023, saying it was confident the USD632m (EUR558m) project would be profitable.
Prairie’s local subsidiary – PD Co – said it will submit a request for a mine concession in the Lublin region, close to the border with Ukraine.
Construction on the mine is expected to start in 2018, with Prairie estimating the coal deposits at 700 million tons, of which 140 million tons can be exploited.
Despite attempts by many countries to move away from fossil fuels, the group’s chief executive Ben Stoikovich told Polish news agency PAP that he expected demand for coal to remain strong in Europe in the coming years.
The company expects to produce coal from the new mine at around USD25 a ton, according to PD Co president Janusz Jakimowicz.
Poland’s dependence on coal – 70% of households use it for heat and coal-fired power plants generate nearly all the country’s electricity – has given it some of the most polluted air in the EU.
Low global coal prices are driving inefficient Polish mines to bankruptcy, threatening 100,000 heavily subsidized mining jobs.