The Last Mine in Sakhalin


In 2017, we celebrated the 295th anniversary of the beginning of coal mining in Russia and the 70th anniversary of the Miner’s Day. The opening of the exhibition «Miner’s Glory» in the Sakhalin Regional Museum was timed to coincide with the above dates. Among the items were mining equipment and photos from Udarnovskaya Mine, donated by East Mining Company Limited to the Museum.
The mine was put into operation during the Karafuto Governorate in the Esuitor area. The name of the mine was «Taihei» and it belonged to Joint Stock Company «KarafutoKega». The mine as in operation from 1924 to 2017.
After the end of World War II and the liberation of southern Sakhalin from the Japanese, the mine was renamed to «Udarnovskaya», since it was in the village of Udarnoe in the Uglegorsk Municipal District of the Sakhalin region, was operated by Trust «Uglegorskugol». The mine occupied a unique geographical location: the only mine in the Far Eastern region, located in close proximity to the sea coast, which had made the delivery of coal to other regions of Russia through the Port of Shakhtersk easier.
In the post-war period, the «Udarnovskaya» underwent small renovation works, some key developments were the introduction of mechanization and automation.
It was a pilot mine where new types of mechanized tools for coal mining were introduced. There all kinds of tunnel boring machines had been tested before sent to other mines.
In addition, serious measures were taken to improve working conditions, making the working environment of minersТ safety.
In the 1960s, the mine achieved the higher productivity, had highly skilled workers, ensuring the maximum load of the mine, there appeared crews of high speed workers.
With sincere warmth and great respect, the miners of Sakhalin speak of a crew led by A. Ya. Shaldibin, the Communist, the Hero of Socialist Labor, the Full Knight of the «Miner’s Glory» distinction of all three degrees. The coal miners under his leadership became famous for their labor achievements, set two All-Union records for coal mine tunnels. In March-April 1965, working in a shift dedicated to the 95th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Lenin, the crew had developed 1,273 m length of mine workings within 31 working days. Thus, the All-Union record of mining workings by the PK-3M coal mine combine set by A. Ya. Khmelev crew from the Polysaevskaya-2 Mine in Kuzbassugol was broken.
In the competition for a worthy meeting of the Miner’s Day, the crew of the miners, on the eve of their holiday on August 28, 1965, developed 1,601 meters of coal mining conveying and ventilation systems and other mine workings during 30 working days, thereby having set a new All-Union record. Thus, the mining personnel under the leadership of A. Ya. Shaldybin achieved the average monthly sinking speed, which exceeded by several times the index for the enterprises of the Sakhalinugol Association.
Subsequently, the crews of high speed miners attracted many new followers. For example, miners led by V.L. Grigoruk, M.F. Solodnikov, M. Kulikova were awarded the Order of Lenin for high achievements in their work. Every year the results of the Udarnovskaya mine work were commended at regional meetings with the participation of representatives of all enterprises.
It should also be noted that the Minister of Coal Industry of the USSR M.I. Shchadov (1985–1991) was employed as the chief engineer of the mine «Udarnovskaya» in the period from 1953 to 1954.
Since the 2000s, the mine begins to lose its advanced niche, it has been plagued by setbacks. So, on May 1, 2009, due to ignition of methane and transfer of combustion to coal seams, a serious fire arose, the mine had to be flooded. Reconstruction works were conducted during the year, in June 2010, the mine again began to produce coal. But since the mine was commissioned in 1924, over the years its coal reserves were depleted, and in recent years, coal mining has been extremely dangerous and expensive. After numerous attempts to keep the mine afloat, in the end, it was decided to liquidate it.
Currently, the eight collections of the Sakhalin Regional Museum contain 87 objects that cover the history of the mine «Udarnovskaya» and tell about its honorary workers. In 2017, the museum received two more collections of 60 objects.
The Sakhalin Regional Museum expresses deepest thanks to Donors, who make a huge contribution to preserving the history of our Sakhalin Region.

Prepared by E.V. Dorokhina, Junior Research Scientist



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