At Bochum - in West German's coal-rich Ruhr area - demolition workers Mar 2 started dismantling the Dannenbaum and Prinzregent collieries, closed down in a bid to overcome the increasing problems created by Europe's coal crisis.
GV. Prinzregent mine.
LV. Miners bring in equipment out of mine.
SV. Carrying pneumatic drills from trucks.
SV. Ditto piling up.
GV. Of mine and shaft.
ANGLE SHOT. Of shaft.
SV. Acetylene worker cutting through section of steel.
LV. Mine and shaft.
SV. Workmen moving equipment on barrow.
GV. Dannenbaum mine and shaft.
CU. Name 'Dannenbaum' mine.
LV.PAN. Of coke ovens to be dismantled.
SV. Acetylene worker cutting through steel girders.
LV. Blowing up section of mine building.
CU. Asserting explosive into building wall
SV. Workman pushes down plunger.
GV. Blowing up section of mine building.
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Background: At Bochum - in West German's coal-rich Ruhr area - demolition workers Mar 2 started dismantling the Dannenbaum and Prinzregent collieries, closed down in a bid to overcome the increasing problems created by Europe's coal crisis.
German mine owners are going ahead of their close-down plans despite union-sponsored demonstrations by thousands of miners in Bonn and Bochum last September and December. Dannenbaum colliery is the first to be dismantled in the Ruhr area. Prinzregent pit - one of Bochum's biggest - includes a shaft completed only three months ago at a cost of over GBP2 million. The two mines, employing more than 4,000 people, were exploiting coal deposits which would have kept them going for another 100 years.
Although coal consumption in the European Coal and Steel Community during the first quarter of 1960 was expected to increase by 3-4%, for the first time since the beginning of the crisis in 1957, and shorter working days in the mines are restricting the output, there is still a steady surplus. Stock piles are likely to reach the record figure of 33 million tons by July.
The Ruhr Coal Owners' Association are planning to reduce output this year by 11 million tons in order to reduce pithead stocks. This would mean a cut to 106 million, as against 115 million in 1959 and 125 million in 1956. The industry is proposing to close down completely 19 shafts and to restrict output from another 45.
For rationalisation on this scale to be carried out the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community would have to sanction the proposed merger of the three Ruhr coal selling agencies into one organisation. Ruhr miners have informed the High Authority through their union that they support the employer's desire for a single selling agency.
More trouble faces the High Authority in the form of a lawsuit filed in the Community's court of justice by Aachen collieries. These West German collieries maintain that the High Authority is acting contrary to the community Treaty by using its emergency powers, assumed last December to deal with the Belgian coal situation, to limit German coal exports to Belgium.