EFT Investments

Stanari coal mine

The Stanari coal mine lies 70 km east of Banja Luka, in central Bosnia. Excavation at this site started in 1948 and ever since the destiny of the mine has been closely linked to that of the surrounding towns and villages.

As in the case of most other state run enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina, prolonged mismanagement coupled with the sudden and deep economic crisis during the 1980's, as well as the civil war during the 1990's, resulted in the Stanari mine experiencing severe difficulties during the last two decades.

The lack of investment in infrastructure, poor situation in the country’s energy sector and general economic crisis caused Stanari’s output to fall each year at an alarming rate. By 1999 the output at the mine fell to some 38,000 tonnes, while the debts spiralled out of control. Wage arrears and worker unrest became common. By 2004 the production at the mine had almost ceased.

In September 2004 an international tender for a strategic partner in the mine was published. EFT submitted the winning bid and a deal was concluded. In May 2005 EFT acquired 72 percent of the newly-formed Stanari joint-venture company and a 30 year concession to develop the mine. The following year, the company bought the remainder of the shares.

At this time, granting a concession to a private investor was a novelty in the Western Balkans, where most coal mines are still owned by the state. But things started to change almost immediately. A new director was hired and the company took on more qualified personnel.

EFT made substantial investments in new machinery and introduced modern production methods. In 2004, annual output of coal had been less than 200,000 tonnes. In 2006, it was able to extract about 1,600 tonnes of coal per worker, compared with an average figure across Bosnian coal mines of just 500 tonnes. Since 2007, record output at the mine has been reached each year.

In December 2006, the Stanari mine was granted the international ISO certification for quality control, health and safety at work and protection of the environment. The certification was conducted by TÜV Management Service from Munich, who judged that the operation at the Stanari mine merited ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards.

Over 200 new jobs have been created at the mine since 2005 and wages have doubled on average. More than EUR 60 million has so far been invested. Today, the Stanari mine is one of the most upbeat, productive environments in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is seen as one of the best examples of successful privatizations in the region. 

To learn more about the Stanari coal mine please visit www.eft-stanari.net