“Good luck,” echoes in the dark corridor of the cave Omazici in dark coal mine (RMU) Banovici. They are coming down a few hundred meters below the ground and then darkness. The voices in the distance and light with a helmet on their head. These hardworking people are earning “bread with seven crusts” below the earth, not fearing for their life. They are used to, as they say, to darkness and the dirt that surrounds them. Yesterday, they celebrated their day, some on the surface, but some underground because they have to work.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the construction of railway Brcko – Banovici, as well as the existance of coal mine “Banovici”. It was founded in 1946 as RMU “Tito” Banovici, upon completion of Youth railway Brcko – Banovici, which was the first project realized on voluntary cooperation in Europe. A total of 62,268 young people from 20 countries deployed in 120 work brigades participated in its construction, and the railway was completed in a record time of six months.
They dug up tons of earth and rock with shovels, mechanization was almost non-existent. In the years that followed, the development of the mine led to the growing of the city – Banovici. In the former fields were built houses, later buildings, companies and everything else that is needed for a modern municipality. Today it is said that the mine represent backbone of this community in the northeast of BiH.
In its composition, coal mine Banovici has six organizational units; two production plants “Surface Mining of Coal” and “Underground Coal Exploitation”, “Railway Transport”, “Separation”, “Standard & Services” and “Directorate”.
“Being a miner means to retire younger. Before the war, I went to school for a digger. Mine gave me a scholarship. I’ve been working in the pit for 15 years. Coming down into the pit has become everyday thing,” said one of the miners, Suad Ceric (44).
“Until today, we excavated over 100 million tons of separated coal. Through 70 years, the mine followed the progress of technology and development in the world and applied new technologIES. In the last 40 years we always had modern technology,” explained Munever Cergic, who is at the forefront of the mine for more than a decade.
The mine currently employs around 2,750 workers, however, a few days ago at the meeting of the Board was decided to hire new 200 people, who will begin to work early next year. This is the beginning of preparations for 2021, when the mine is expected to produce about 2.5 million tons of separated coal in order to facilitate regular supply of power plants in Banovici and existing Block 6 as well as the other units in Tuzla.