Miners Glory exhibition opens at the Sakhalin Regional Museum on August 17, 4:00 p.m. The exhibition is timed to the 70th anniversary of the Miners Day and the 295th anniversary of coal mining in Russia.
Miner’s Day officially began in the USSR with a proposal of the coal industry ministers D. G. Onika and A. F. Zasyadko on September 10, 1947.
In the first postwar years, the coal industry of Sakhalin was in a difficult situation. Some of the mines were in a state of disrepair; others were destroyed during military operations in southern Sakhalin. In 1947, the Soviet government invested significant capital in the Sakhalinugol Enterprise. Works started on the reconstruction of five and restoration of two mines, Lermontov open coal pit was placed into operation, where coal was extracted from the earth by surface mining. During the period from 1947 to 1964, the production of coal was increased by 88%: from 2.5 million tons in 1947 to 4.5 million tons in 1964.
Three quarters of the coal produced on the Island was used in the region, the rest was sent to Khabarovsk and Primorsky Krai, the Amur, Kamchatka and Magadan regions, with part of the coal being exported to Japan.
The main consumers of Sakhalin coal were the pulp and paper industry (which consumed up to 60% of coal used for industrial consumption), power stations, public utility services, the railway, fishing and marine fleet.
In the second half of the 1960s and 1970s, the coal industry developed steadily. Mining automation technologies were introduced in the mines of Sakhalin Island, the number of cutting loading machines and continuous mining machines was increased. In 1979, there was produced 5.8 million tons of coal in the Sakhalin region. This was the highest coal production indicator of the Soviet coal industry. Miners provided coal to all consumers in the region.
The coal industry has declined since the late 1980s, and the main reasons were the rapid deterioration and wearing of coal production capacities, coal production dropped by 30%. Local mines could not mine enough coal to meet the Sakhalin region demand and there was a need to import coal. At that time, reconstruction works were conducted on the number of mines and the exploration was carried out through a large Solntsevo coalfield in the Uglegorsk area.
Since the beginning of the 2000s, the coal industry indicators have increased. In 2016, coal production totaled 7.2 million tonnes.
The exhibition presents photographs, documents, awards and original items of miners who worked in the mines and coal quarries of Sakhalin in the 19501980s. All the above items are from the collections of the Sakhalin Regional Museum including pictures taken in the coal mines as well as special equipment of miners given by the Vostochnaya Mining Company as a gift to the Museum.
Prepared by E. A. Pashentseva