The Ministry of the Environment confirmed a decision this week making changes to the mining permits of Estonian energy firm Eesti Energia's Narva Quarry which will combine the rates of extraction of valid mining permits, permit the adoption of longwall mining technology in addition to open-pit mining as well as extend the validity of the mining permits by ten years.
Said changes to the Narva Quarry's mining permit were previously approved by the Ministry of Defense as well.
"Longwall mining will reduce oil shale losses to 5-10 percent," explained Eesti Energia board member Margus Vals. "Until now we have utilized the room and pillar method in underground mining in which we leave 22-35 percent of the oil shale below ground in order to underpin the surface."
In addition to the more sustainable use of oil shale, underground mining using longwall mining technology will reduce environmental impact as well, as it will preserve intact both vegetation and the general appearance of the landscape.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla