Mine shutdowns on RAG agenda

GERMAN coal giant RAG announced last week it would shut two of its 10 coal mines in Germany by 2007.

Staff Reporter

The closure of the two mines, overseen by RAG’s coal mining unit Deutsche Steinkohle (DSK), will result in 5,500 workers being laid off.

The two mines targeted for shut-down are Lohberg/Osterfeld in the Ruhr region and Warndt/Luisenthal in the Saarland, near the French border.

German News Digest said the closures would reduce the annual production from the current 26 million tonnes to 22 million tonnes by 2007. This reduction comes under an agreement with the European Union signed in 2000.

The Digest added coal production must be reduced to 16 million tonnes by 2012, which would cause additional job cuts.