Viktor Zimin Republic of Khakassia Republic of Khakassia
New Siberian coal mine: Russia’s largest open-cast coal mine was officially opened in Siberia’s Khakassia Republic earlier this week despite stiff opposition from local residents who are concerned about its environmental impact. The Arshanovsky pit is expected to produce two million tonnes of coal this year, five million tonnes by 2017 and eventually ten million tonnes once it is running at full capacity. “[The coal mine] will have a direct impact on the opening of new industries, the creation of new jobs, and increasing welfare,” the Chairman of the Government of the Republic of Khakassia Viktor Zimin said. “Without industry, we cannot develop agriculture. We must raise ourselves to this higher status and then our president and prime minister will pay attention to us.” There are further plans to build a modern industrial campus and a railway line to create a loading station for the coal.