Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD european face of bulgarian coal output


Company profile

Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD is 100% state-owned sole-proprietor joint-stock company, with one-tier system of management.


Coal production and sale; industrial, commercial, leasing, repair, foreign trade activities; training and retraining of coal mining personnel are the main activities of the Company.

Information on Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD

Area of the complex

240 km2

Coal reserves
as at 01.01.2008)

2,096 million tonnes

Coal mining commenced


Personnel strength(as at 01.01.2008.)

7,486 people

Reclamation commenced


Area reclaimed
(as at 01.01.2008)

42,882 decares

agricultural land

,148 decares
,694 decares


On 11th August 2005 a Claim Contract was concluded between the Bulgarian Council of Ministers represented by the Minister of Energy and Energy Resources on one hand and Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD as a claim holder on the other.


Under the contract signed, a concession was established in favour of Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD for the extraction of coal from the Maritsa Iztok Coal Basin deposit.


The experts of the State Mine Company, Pernik began the geological research in the Maritsa Iztok Basin in 1948 and it was established that coal reserves amounted to over 2.9 billion tonnes. The first development project was prepared in 1951 by GIPROSHAHT, Leningrad and envisaged seven open-cast mines.


In the 1970s a new plan for mining operation development without any boards (no pillar) was adopted. It was planned to initially take away the pillar between Troyanovo-1 and Troyanovo-3 mines and form one coal field under Troyanovo-South with two lines, a northern one of Troyanovo-1 and a southern one of Troyanovo-3. Large-scale mining and hydro equipment construction began simultaneously in preparation to take away the pillar of coal between Troyanovo-1 and Troyanovo-North mines. Part of the project was the redirection of the Ovcharitsa river and its left and right feeders outside the coalfield, the construction  of two dams, two small dams, five retention basins,31 km of canals, an underground tunnel 1 km long, 6 km length of underground canals and a number of other smaller water engineering equipment. In the recent 3-4 years the final stage of this large-scale reorganization went on and on March 21st 2008 the coal pillar between the two mines was formally cut, giving a start to the extraction of the most effective part of the field.


The stability of mining boards and dump site slopes is of essential importance for the safe mining operation. The stability is calculated by a unique methodology using the active earth pressure prism and a mathematic model (with no analogue in the global mining practice) that correspond to the largest extent to the complex engineering and geological conditions in the Maritsa Iztok Basin. The boards stability is calculated on a monthly basis with computer programmes designed by Bulgarian experts.


Coalfield exploitation technology


Coal seams are relatively shallow, 6 – 10 metres up to 110 – 120 metres below the surface. The total thickness of the coal seam is about 35-40 metres and is split into three by clayey layers. The main coal extraction seam is the intermediate (second) one with an average thickness of 15 – 25 metres. The first seam is about 0,5 – 1 metres thick and is of no commercial value.


Three open-cast mines operate the coalfield, Troyanovo-1, Troyanovo-North and Troyanovo-3, and there are no technological pillars between them. This allows the more efficient extraction of reserves and presupposes the utilization of state-of–the-art equipment and technology.


The horizontal position of coal seams enables the implementation of a single board continuous cross-section system of extraction with respect to technology. The Troyanovo-1 and Troyanovo-3 mines progress eastwards in parallel at a common mining front whereas the Troyanovo-North mine progresses in parallel to the Troyanovo-1 but westwards and presently the two mines go past each other with the cutting of the so-called “pillar” between them. The total length of the mining longwall of the three mines is some 10 kilometers.


There are two mining horizons at the Troyanovo-1 and Troyanovo-North mines and one at the Troyanovo-3. Removal activities at the three mines are carried on five removal horizons through a continuous method of operation employing bucket-wheel excavators, rubber belt conveyors and rubber belt spreaders.


The ratio of overburden removed to external and internal dump sited is 1:1 and there is a trend to increase the amount sent to internal dump sites and shorten transportation distances.





















































Troyanovo-1 Mine
The first sod of the first mine construction was turned on 3rd March 1952.

According to the project Troyanovo-1 mine had 525,300,000 tonnes of coal reserves at an average stripping ratio of 2.44 cubic metres per tonne of coal.
The first 117,100 tonnes were extracted in 1960. The mine has been regularly operated since 1961. On 19th June the same year commenced the exploitation of the first electrified double railroad from the overburden horizons to the external dump site (12 kilometers long) which was the beginning of transition from steam to electric traction.
While in 1961, the first year of operation, 1,404,000 tonnes of coal were produced, in 1965 production increased to 6,059,000 tonnes.
In 2007, the mine produced 8,595,912 tonnes of coal – a production record since the beginning of its existence. Just for comparison it should be noted that the same amount of coal was extracted by all mines in Bulgaria in 1953.

Since it was commissioned until 31st December 2008 Troyanovo-1 Mine produced 327,380,175 tonnes of coal and stripped 973,027,202 cubic meters of overburden.

Troyanovo-North Mine

Troyanovo-North Mine is located in the northern part of the Maritsa Iztok Basin productive area. Its northern border is that of the coalfield itself and it borders Troyanovo-1 Mine to the south.

The construction preparation activities began in 1960 when the bed of the Ovcharitsa River was dislocated from the area of the coming mining exploration, makeshift lodgings were erected near the village of Kovachevo and the beginning of construction of the connecting line with Troyanovo-1 Mine started.

On 9th August 1964, the first train of coal was loaded at Troyanovo-North Mine.

During the first year of operation, 307 thousand tonnes of coal were produced at Troyanovo-North.

310,921,129 tonnes of coal were extracted since its commissioning until December 31st 2008 and 1,461,427,105 cubic metres of overburden stripped.

Troyanovo-3 Mine
Troyanovo-3 Mine is located in the southern part of the Maritsa Iztok Basin and  is in the form of a rectangle with West-East orientation and a length of 12 kilometers, about 2.5-3 km wide (North-South).
The payable reserves are calculated at 336,230,000 tonnes.
The coal seam is located at an average depth of 70-80 m.
Unlike the first two mines, the Troyanovo-3 mine project was designed by a team of MINPROEKT, the Bulgarian Design Institute, and it is equipped only with rubber belt conveyors instead of railroad transportation.
The first sod of its construction was made on 24th March 1964.
The first overburden flow-line was commissioned in 1967.
Coal production started in 1969 and 1,357,552 tonnes of coal were produced then.
Since the Troyanovo-3 Mine was put into operation until December 31st 2008, 262,585,765 tonnes of coal were produced and 1,411,718,320 m³ of overburden stripped.

Material and Equipment Supply Enterprise

Materials and spare parts for Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD are supplied by the Material and Equipment Supply Enterprise /MES/.

It was established on the territory of Troyanovo-1 Mine on 1st October 1962. The next year it was moved to Radnevo. It has been constantly growing since then. Presently, its storage facilities take an area of 80 decares. It was named Material and Equipment Supply and Sale since 1979 until 1991; since 1991 until 1993 it was named Material and Equipment Supply and Motor Transport and since December 1993 its name has been Material and Equipment Supply. Since 2003, it has storage facilities on the territories of the three mines as well.

MES has a chemical laboratory for the analyses and monitoring of ingoing fuels and lubricants in accordance with BDS EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and ISO 9001:2000.

The list of items stored and available at the Enterprise is the second largest after the State Reserve.




The heavy mining equipment (HME) comprises bucket-wheel excavators and ladder-type trenching machines, spreaders, rubber belt conveyors, as well as driving and tail stations.


Bucket-wheel excavators of the Rs 470, Rs 1200, Rs 1301, Rs 2000 and Rs 4000 types have the largest share in heavy mining equipment – the company owns  a total of 26 pieces.


Their key operative part is the bucket wheel. Excavators of the Rs 470 - type have 8 buckets, Rs 1200 – 8 or 14 buckets, Rs 2000 – 14 buckets, and Rs 4000- 16 buckets.




Six ladder-type trenching machines of the Rs 710 type are operative in the extraction sections of the three mines. They are used to extract lignite at a height of 15 metres from the excavator site  elevation.


Spreaders of the As 5000, As 6300 and As 12500 type are other pieces of heavy mining equipment, aimed at technology implementation. They are basic spreading equipment. The company owns 12 spreaders.


A bucket-wheel excavator, combined with a rubber belt conveyor and a spreader form the so called Overburden Removal, Transportation and Spreading  Facilities Unit.


There are 2 such units in Troyanovo-1 Mine, 5 in Troyanovo  - North Mine, and 4 in Troyanovo – 3 Mine.


In accordance with the prospects for increased output a rehabilitation programme is being carried out on excavators of the Rs 1200 type, used for extraction purposes.  The rehabilitation of two excavators of this type started in 2008, and it is envisaged that three more excavators of the same type will be rehabilitated in 2009.




Technological mechanization is a very important aspect of mining equipment. It consists of bulldozers, pipelayers, front loaders, cleaning devices, back pull shovels. It ensures better and more efficient operation of heavy mining equipment by being deployed in road bed preparation, and its use is an integral part of planning. A reliable bulldozer fleet is indispensable to the carrying out of  mining operations and regular output.


We have made a detailed analysis of available technological mechanization and adopted a programme for its renovation. Its constant implementation is necessitated by the shorter wear-out period of this type of equipment, moreover taking into consideration the difficult mining conditions these machines operate under.


Human Resources


Well-qualified specialists and workers, who are responsible for mining equipment operation, maintenance and repairs, have great   contribution to the good production results of Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD.

The average number of employees on the payroll in Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD in 2008 was 7,494. 


The staff structure is as follows:

managerial staff – 4%;

analytical and applied specialists – 9% ;

highly- qualified workers and plant and machinery operators – 72%;

administrative staff – 2.9%.

The share of employees who have university education was 15.10%, of those who graduated from professional high school - 42.18%, workers with vocational high school education - 27.36%, comprehensive secondary school graduates - 4.76% and emploees who have basic education - 10.60%.


ISO Certification


The company policy of Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD, as defined  in the Management Team Declaration, is aimed at enhancing the responsibility of  each employee in order to ensure healthy and safe working conditions.

In 2007 the following systems were developed, introduced and a certificate was obtained for:

a Quality Management System in accordance with ISO 9001:2000 standards;

an Occupational Health and Safety Management System that meets the requirements of specification OHSAS 18001:1999;

an Environmental Management System, complying with the  ISO standard 14001:2004.


The compliance monitoring audits as regards the three standards were successfully carried out in 2008, and it is foreseen to integrate them into a unified system in the future.




Certificates: ISO 9001:2000; OHSAS 18001:1999; ISO 14001:2004


Corporate Resource Management System


 Securing of accurate, adequate and timely information on ongoing technological and production processes is increasingly becoming a key factor for proper management decisions. This formula, which has been proven into practice, is the main reason for the introduction of an Integrated Corporate Resource Management System (ICRMS) SAP-R/3 in Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD. The system is internationally recognized and has more than 30 000 installations introduced up to date. Thus the company has added another aspect to its  modern European profile.


The system was commissioned on 1st January 2005. Since the beginning of 2007 ICRMS has been operating in full capacity, using all of its functionalities, necessary for the company`s activities. The modules Financial Accounting, Long-term Tangible Assets, Economic Analyses, Repairs, Investment Management and Material Stock Management are in operation.


The objective of the integrated system is to define the business and logistic processes in the company and to provide consolidated information at the appropriate place and time.


 ICRMS has the exceptional advantage of being able to track down events and documents  in the process of activity and functions both  in  the company headquarters and in the individual subdivisions. This undoubtedly creates conditions for efficient process management. 


Corporate Social Responsibility


 Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD has a responsible attitude towards society and institutions not only on the territory of the districts where the Maritsa Iztok lignite field is located, but towards every national and righteous cause. The company contributes to donation campaigns (the Bulgarian Christmas campaign), it also provides support to orphanages, hospitals, monasteries, as well as financial support to sick children, etc.


It is a moral obligation, as well as an honour for Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD  to support the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and to contribute to the upbringing of the young generation in the values of Eastern orthodoxy.


In 2006 we established St Ivan Rilski Civil Association and we actively participated in the erection of a monument to  St Ivan Rilski - the saint and patron  of Bulgarian people and protector of miners. The monument was officially inaugurated by His Grace Galaktion – Bishop of Stara Zagora in October 2007.


In 2008 a chapel named after  St Kozma Zografski (the first of its kind in the country)  was built  and inaugurated in the yard the corporate holiday home in  Starozagorski Mineralni Bani resort.  


In 2008 hall No 220 at Opencast Mining Department of the Faculty of Mining Tehnology, St Inav Rilski University of Mining and Geology, Sofia, was renovated and inaugurated with the financial support of the Company. As a token of the good partnership between St Ivan Rilski University of Mining and Geology and Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD, it was decided by the Rector of the University that the modernized hall should be named Mini Maritsa Iztok.


In honour of the 130-th anniversary of the liberation of the Republic of Bulgaria on the 3-th of March 2008 a huge national flag was raised on Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD headquarters frontage. The dimensions of the flag are 5/25 m.



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