LW Bogdanka SA is one of the leading hard coal producers in Poland. It is also a leader of innovation and efficiency in the national mining sector. The extracted hard thermal coal is mostly used to produce electricity, heat and cement. The Company’s customers are mainly industrial companies, especially entities operating in the power industry, located in the east and north-east of Poland. The mining area exploited by the LW Bogdanka Group is divided into three mining fields:
• Bogdanka Field
• Nadrybie Field
• Stefanów Field
and the mine’s shafts are located in Bogdanka, Nadrybie and Stefanów (including the lifting shafts located only in Bogdanka and Stefanów). The LW Bogdanka group of companies ( consists of Łęczyńska Energetyka Sp. z o.o. and three subsidiaries established in 2013-2014. Certain in -house functions of the mine were spun off into those subsidiaries, which are wholly owned by LW Bogdanka SA.
The main source of the Group’s revenue is the production and sale of thermal coal by LW Bogdanka SA. In each of the compared reporting periods this activity generates nearly 95% of the the LW Bogdanka Group’s revenue.
When we look at the principal business related to hard coal extraction and processing, the enterprise is, above all, a supplier of raw material for other industries (energy industry, cement production, chemical sector) placed at the beginning of their supply chain.
Bogdanka is a strong link in the value chain of the Enea Group and the efficiency leader in the mining sector with the highest work safety standards.
By contributing to energy security of Poland, Bogdanka proves that it is a reliable supplier of coal for commercial power plants able to maintain its competitive advantage and to continuously increase the value of the Company, while improving its work safety and environment protection standards and implementing innovative solutions.
A comprehensive approach to responsible management requires a holistic view of an organisation and its performance. One of the model views is to analyse the process of creating value by analysing six capitals: financial, intellectual, manufactured (operating), social, human and natural.
Natural capital- Model of creating value - Subsidence of land where mining takes place and active development of natural assets in those areas. Landscaping through reclamation and planned management of mining waste dump. Reducing environmental impact by limiting emissions and using mining waste and mine water for economic purposes.
Natural capital is the capital which we, the humans, usually cannot regenerate.
To preserve exhaustible resources, the Company has been focusing for many years on searching for methods to extract them efficiently, i.e. to reduce the portion of coal which is left in deposits to be irrecoverably lost. First of all, the Company has become a leader in obtaining raw material from thin seams, which other mines consider unprofitable and leave behind lost forever. For the same very reason, LW Bogdanka SA joins such initiatives as coal gasification, which, in the future, may increase the efficiency of use of underground fuel resources even further.
Although coal burning always produces carbon dioxide, the content of other substances (e.g. sulphur compounds or dust) in combustion products can be radically reduced if the burning process is correctly controlled and the fuel is properly prepared with its parameters carefully tested in labs). After it is extracted, our coal is sorted into appropriate granularity fractions and excessive ash is removed in Poland’s most advanced mechanical coal processing plant. Coal parameters are forecast in advance using a 3D digital deposit model. The mine cooperates with industrial customers to ensure that their systems used to burn its coal are calibrated to its physical and chemical properties and include appropriate fume gas desulphurisation and dedusting units. In the light of the vivid discussion which swept through Poland, it should be emphasised that in case of LW Bogdanka SA coal sales to retail customers (households) are marginal and the Company:
• does not sell unsorted and impurified coal; and
• does not sell coal waste from its mechanical coal processing plant (so called coal dust and coal flotation concentrate) to retail customers.
For many years, the mine has been continuously searching for methods and technologies which would enable new economic uses of waste rock, which at present meets insufficient demand and, thus, must be partially stockpiled. The awareness of influence determines various other activities to protect the local environment, to counteract the effects of the rising ground water level, and to rehabilitate and shape the landscape.
In cooperation with external partners, LW Bogdanka SA has for years been trying to better understand the nature of changes in the natural environment. It takes action to eliminate, reduce and compensate for the impact of its activities on nature, especially on its most valuable elements. This knowledge is one of the unique competencies that distinguish LW Bogdanka SA against the industry. This is yet another dimension of business efficiency which makes the mine not only more environment-friendly, but also more predictable and stable from the point of view of capital market investors. The many years’ monitoring has enabled to thoroughly detect and understand the majority of influence mechanisms of the mine’s activity on the condition of nature surrounding the mining area, especially mechanisms of water circulation, movement of pollution etc. Special responsibility rests on the mine in connection with the fact that protected areas having exceptional water and peat values are situated in its direct proximity. Despite that, the mine’s impact and the related threats have been reduced to minimum.
Effective environmental management is based on the Integrated Health and Safety, Quality and Environment Management System. It complies with PN-EN ISO 9001:2015, PN-EN ISO 14001:2015, PN-N-18001:2004 and, additionally, as regards health and safety, with the British standard BS OHSAS 18001:2007. Individual certificates were renewed in 2018. Environmental issues are included and given high priority in the corporate risk map. They are also defined in the integrated system of enterprise risk management.
The mine, its infrastructure and the “Puchaczów V” and “Stręczyn” mining fields are surrounded with protected land. The total area of sites with valuable natural environment where coal is extracted by the mine invariably covers 350 ha. In the close vicinity of the mine’s premises there are:
• the Polesie National Park,
• the Łęczna Lake District Landscape Park,
With a relatively high groundwater level in the vicinity of Bogdanka, a further rise in the level of surface waters contributes to expansion of wetlands which even have the form of permanently flooded areas. As a consequence, on certain arable land, especially in basins that remained after past exploitation of peat, permanent floodlands have appeared. Although ground settling is the result of human activity, expanding wetlands and floodlands become valuable habitats for bird species living in Polesie. Thus, through its industrial activity, the mine does not so much adversely affect birds, but indirectly contributes to the growth of their population.
One of the most interesting projects, created for biodiversity safety, is “Nadrybie educational path”. In Nadrybie created basin as a result of subsidence has filled with water and the area, has become attractive to many species of birds and other animals. LW Bogdanka SA has decided to take special care of it and share it with others. The basin was included in the Natura 2000 network. The mine, in cooperation with the Polish Society for the Protection of Birds (OTOP), decided to create a new Nadrybie educational path around the reservoir. An official opening of the path took place in October 2015, on the occasion of the European Day of Birds. The educational path provides an opportunity to see different types of habitats and characteristic species. The more than two-kilometre route includes shelters for resting as well as stops with educational information boards describing the birds, amphibians, plants, butterflies, dragonflies, mammals and reptiles found there. This is a place where you may encounter many species of birds, including rare ones, listed in the Polish Red Book. In spring, it becomes a feeding area for the white-winged tern, the whiskered tern, the black tern, and the black-headed gull. Among other species, you can hear: the great reed warbler, the sedge warbler, the Eurasian blackcap, the lesser whitethroat, or the thrush nightingale, as well as the bittern, the little bittern, and the water rail.
Water management – circular economy
For many years, the Company has been focusing on the uses of water from rock mass drainage for various economic purposes, which is not always simple technologically.
The launch of the Water Treatment Plant (WTP) in Bogdanka in 2015, having a water processing capacity of 5,532 m3 a day, was a real milestone towards a more effective usage of underground waters. This project was implemented concurrently with an upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant in Bogdanka. This project has enabled:
• production of potable water from underground water and purified rainwater in amounts which cover both current and future demand of LW Bogdanka SA for potable water;
• production of water for technological purposes from underground water and purified sanitary sewage and rainwater in amounts covering both current and future demand of LW Bogdanka SA for various types of water: for its fire-extinguishing systems and for the central conditioning system;
• the closure of circulation of water, sanitary sewage and rainwater in the Bogdanka mining field, resulting in such a pro-ecological effect as a decrease in consumed underground waters by about 260,000 m3/year and in a decline in removed treated wastewater by about 300,000 m3/year;
• an improvement in operations of the wastewater treatment plant.
This is just a practical implementation of the circular economy concept, which Bogdanka has been following for many years.
Waste management focused on effectiveness
The process of coal mining is accompanied with the production of stone (i.e. waste rock). LW Bogdanka SA would like to ensure that waste rock is put to commercial use to the greatest extent possible. The idea is to have as little rock as possible being placed in the waste yard at Bogdanka. On the one hand, the capacity of the yard is limited, and on the other, it is simply a valuable raw material. Analysis was performed in terms of using the waste rock as spacer material in municipal landfills due to, for instance, the bacteria found in the rock (methanotrophs), which eliminate the methane resulting from decay processes. In previous years, the waste rock was used as a raw material for the production of building ceramics, while last year it was also employed in cement production at the Ożarów Cement Plant. However, waste rock is to the greatest extent commercially used mainly for hardening roads and squares, and for the purpose of rehabilitation of degraded land (about 98% of all managed waste). It involves restoration of the original lay of the land by filling pits with mining waste, and then covering them with a layer of soil, and using for agricultural purposes or forestation (owners of remediated land hold appropriate decisions of environmental protection authorities). In 2016 the Company obtained a certificate of the Road and Bridge