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Open-pit coal mine, Kostenkovo, Russia

People of the rural settlement came together, protested and questioned local authorities why their land has been handed to coal mining companies.


Near the village of Kostenkovo, large open-pit coal mining is taking place [1] [2]. Mining activities use explosives and local residents have to live with the noise, traditional agricultural land loss, air pollution, and water contamination. After explosions, cracks appear in houses, coal dust settles on the streets and inside their houses [2]. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Open-pit coal mine, Kostenkovo, Russia
Country:Russian Federation
State or province: Kemerovo region
Location of conflict:Kostenkovo
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Coal extraction and processing
Specific commodities:Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project details

in the Kemerovo region (Kuzbass), the SUEK company has seven underground mines and two open pits, one of which is Zarechny open pit coal mine --- near Kostenkovo village. The total production of 7 mines in the region is 31.4 Mt of only in 2019. The coal processed at four washing plants is mainly exported to both European and Asian markets [6].

Level of Investment for the conflictive project38, 000, 000only for Zarechny open pit coal mine near Kostenkovo
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:01/01/2017
Company names or state enterprises:SUEK from Russian Federation
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:The initiative group of the village of Kostenkovo!
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Development of a network/collective action
Official complaint letters and petitions
Human chain along the highway (
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Potential: Fires, Global warming
Health ImpactsPotential: Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Potential: Displacement
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Land demarcation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The project expands, the open-pit mining continues, and the residents have been dispossessed of their traditional lands.
Sources & Materials

[1] Radio Liberty 2017: Kuzbass: residents protest against the transfer of land to coal miners
[click to view]

[2] Radio Liberty 2017: Kuzbass: villagers recorded a clip against coal mines
[click to view]

[3] Heinrich Böll Stiftung 2018: Ecology and Business: Government Sides With Coal Business Against Citizens
[click to view]

[4] 2017: Residents of the Novokuznetsk region demanded that the deputies return their land
[click to view]

[5] / 2017. The people interrogated local authorities who gave hectares of land for coal mines
[click to view]

[6] SUEK company official website: Our Operations
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Kostenkovo ​​Meeting of activists against open-pit mines with local deputies
[click to view]

Human chain along the highway on 18th Nov 2017- Мысковчане против Кийзасского! УК ВостокУголь
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:KH and JMA ENVJUST project ICTA-UAB
Last update27/08/2020
Conflict ID:5188
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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