Owner nixes coal mine expansion over German climate plans

By The Associated Press

The owner of one of Germany's biggest coal mines is shelving plans to expand the site because of government efforts to curb the country's carbon emissions.

In this Friday, Oct. 28, 2016 file photo a bucket-wheel excavator stands on lignite at the LEAG (Lusatian Energy Stock Company) lignite open-cast mine in Jaenschwalde, eastern Germany. LEAG said Thursday, March 30, 2017 that they put plans to enlarge the opencast pit on ice. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)

BERLIN (AP) — The owner of one of Germany's biggest coal mines is shelving plans to expand the site because of government efforts to curb the country's carbon emissions.

Czech-owned consortium LEAG said late Thursday that lignite extraction at Jaenschwalde , near Germany's eastern border with Poland, will end in 2023.

A nearby coal-fired power plant will continue operating for another eight to 10 years using lignite from other mines.

The company said plans to expand a mine in Nochten, to the south, will also be scaled back. It intends to decide on the future of a third mine by 2020.

LEAG said the German government "obviously wants to achieve Germany's climate goals largely on the back of lignite."

The consortium bought the German coal assets of Swedish energy company Vattenfall last year.

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