The Union of Mining and Geology Engineers of Serbia and the Yugoslav Opencast Mining Committee organized the 10th International Conference COAL 2021, which was held from October 13th to 16th in the Palisad Hotel at Zlatibor.

The opening of the 10th International Conference COAL 2021 was attended by about 70 participants. The opening ceremony was chaired by prof. Vladimir Pavlovic (President of the organizing committee), prof. Tomislav Subaranovic (President of the Union of Mining and Geological Engineers of Serbia) and Cvjetko Stojanovic, PhD (President of the Union of Mining Engineers and Geologists of Republika Srpska).

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The chairmen at the opening ceremony of the conference

The conference was officially opened by Dejan Milijanovic, Assistant of the Minister for Mining and Energy. On that occasion, he congratulated the organizers on holding the jubilee 10th International Conference on Coal, which has been successfully held for 30 years. He greeted everyone present on behalf of the ministry, his behalf and on behalf of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Prof. Zorana Mihajlovic.

The following introductory lectures were held by Prof. Dragan Ignjatovic, Cvjetko Stojanovic, PhD and Prof. Tomislav Subaranovic.

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Introductory lecture by Prof. Ignjatovic

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Introductory lecture by Prof. Subaranovic

The 10th International Conference COAL 2021 was attended by representatives from: Public Enterprize Electric Power Industry of Serbia, as well as from the branches of TPPs-OCMs Kostolac and MB Kolubara, Kovin Mine, Coal Mine Pljevlja, Coal Mine Gacko, Coal Mine Ugljevik, Faculty of Mining and Geology and Institute for mining and metallurgy from Bor. The representatives of companies Skala M from Belgrade, Mikrokontrol from Belgrade and Teikom from Belgrade were also present.

As part of the jubilee 10th International Conference COAL 2021, a Round Table discussion was held with the Challenges of coal mining sustainable development as the main topic. The discussion of the Round Table was led by Prof. Vladimir Pavlovic.

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Introductory lecture by Prof. Pavlovic at the Round Table discussion

Prof. Pavlovic also held an introductory lecture, after which a large number of participants took part in the discussion. After an extensive discussion, all participants unanimously concluded the following:

  • - Coal is the dominant non-renewable primary energy source and the basis for energy independence of the Republic of Serbia. The accepted process of justified energy transition should be viewed realistically and with a moderate and harmonized transition to renewable resources with an objective view of their scope, time utilization and stability of electric power production;
  • - Coal reserves of the Republic of Serbia are sufficient for a secure supply of existing and new replacement thermal power plants by the end of this century, in line with the proposed energy transition and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 9.8% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels (Paris Agreement), but of course only in the electric power generation sector;
  • - The projected technological processes of coal mining meet the conditions of sustainable development from the economic, ecological and social aspect, including the planned decarbonisation;
  • - In order to fully realize all preconditions for sustainable development, continue with the planned mine opening and development dynamics of surface mines, provide the quantities, quality and necessary strategic annual coal reserves and implement more active dump remediation, it is necessary to urgently update the investment and technical documentation and realize the planned investments in full, both in terms of scope and dynamic;
  • - The latest world energy crisis, which arose due to over-optimistic strategies of energy transition among other things, indicates the inevitability of using coal to obtain electric power in the long run. Although the disturbed and endangered status of coal is changing rapidly to the most evenly distributed, most stable and cheapest primary energy resource in the world and the most important part of the overall energy sector, it is necessary to make greater efforts to inform the public about the state and strategic importance of sustainable mining, and coal’s participation in the energy stability of the state;
  • - It is necessary for professional associations to ensure a greater influence of mining experts from economic and educational organizations and professional unions on the strategic decisions of the state regarding the energy and coal sectors;
  • - It is necessary to conduct exclusively expert discussions on sustainable electric power generation at all levels of government but also in the society as a whole, having in mind the objective and realistic criteria of sustainable electric power generation, both for fossil primary energy sources and for renewable sources;

As the stated conclusions refer to the entire coal sector in the region, and the colleagues from Ugljevik, Gacko and Pljevlja also participated in their formation, it was agreed to form a regional COAL GROUP.

The coal group would consist of experts and members of professional unions from the countries of Southeast Europe without EU memberships. The goal of the Coal Group would be to professionally and argumentatively influence all the decisions related to the coal sector as a source of primary energy, but also to publicly promote the state and importance of sustainable coal mining as the most important and increasingly neglected part of the energy sector.