Chelyabinsk Region to support mining towns

Governor of Chelyabinsk Region Petr Sumin held a meeting on the problems of local mining towns and the prospects of the region’s coal mining industry. The meeting was attended by First Deputy Governor Vladimir Dyatlov, mayors of Kopeisk, Korkino, and Yemanzhelinsk, and General Director of Chelyabinsk Coal Company Konstantin Strukov.

The agenda of the meeting contained issues related to the socioeconomic situation in the local mining towns and to the performance of Chelyabinsk Coal Company. Governor Sumin was mainly interested in the unemployment rates and the efficiency of measures taken to create new jobs and relocate the local dwellers from slums.

According to Mayor of Kopeisk Mikhail Konarev, the unemployment rate in his town is lower than 2% of the economically active population. The mining enterprises are working stably. The plant dealing in repairs of mining equipment is operating and has more than enough orders.

Mayor of Korkino Vitaliy Marchenkov said 400 new jobs had been created and two new small businesses had started operating over the last eleven months. He promised a food manufacturing center, a building materials plant, and a subsidiary of Krasnoderevschik, the Chelyabinsk-based woodworking enterprise would be opened before the end of the year. What is more, over 200 new jobs would be created in town the following year.

As for Yemanzhelinsk, the unemployment rate in this town is quite high and comes to 6.9% of the workforce.

During the recession, most layoffs involved people employed in Chelyabinsk, Yuzhnouralsk, or the north of Russia, but the coal industry never had to cut back on production outputs. So the three mining towns are able to keep providing the slum dwellers with new housing.

Konstantin Strukov said things were stable in Chelyabinsk Coal Company that employed about 6,000 people at the moment. 1,500 workers are busy in the mines themselves and the rest work to support the infrastructure. This year the miners have produced 800,000 tons of coal, as was their plan. The company does not owe any money to its workers and pays wages regularly.

Strukov noted the company was working on its next year’s order portfolio. He explained orders for 1 million tons of coal would make sure the company could keep working stably. At the moment, Chelyabinsk Coal Company kept negotiating with Fortum and OGK-3 with the regional government’s help.

According to the spokesperson for the Governor, Petr Sumin was generally satisfied with the results of the meeting and spoke favorably of the town councils’ efforts aimed at dealing with the mining towns’ problems. He also said Chelyabinsk Region would keep supporting Chelyabinsk Coal Company in finding new orders. The government would also support the local towns in terms of housing construction, relocation of slum dwellers, infrastructure renovation, and finding investors for new enterprises.

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