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99th anniversary of the Polish mining supervision

24 June 2021

The State Mining Authority will turn 99 this year, on 24 June. It was established in 1922 and this year is considered to be the beginning of modern mining supervision in Poland.

The State Mining Authority is one of the most important institutions in the whole mining industry, including hard coal, brown coal, salt, copper ore, copper, zinc and lead ore, oil and gas, stone and aggregate mining, as well as one of the few mining authorities in Poland. The State Mining Authority is the central office of government administration, nowadays supervised by the Minister of State Assets.

The contemporary organisational structure of the State Mining Authority was shaped during the interwar period, Second World War, at the times of Polish People’s Republic and the Third Republic of Poland. In the interwar period there were three State Mining Authorities. They were located in Katowice, Cracow and Warsaw. Later an office was established in Lviv, replacing the capital. Furthermore, there were four district mining offices: in Rybnik, Królewska Huta (Chorzów), Katowice and Tarnowskie Góry.

The mining officer performed the following tasks at the time: mining concessions, inspections and establishment of the mining law. This is when the first Mining Law was introduced. It entered into force in the then Silesian Voivodship in 1933, after it had been approved by the Silesian Parliament in 1932.

During the Second World War in Silesia, the occupying forces abolished the Polish mining administration and replaced it with German personnel. In turn, the Lviv region of the State Mining Office was taken over by the Soviet administration.

The mining supervisory structures were reconstructed after the war. Two state mining authorities were appointed initially in 1946 - in Katowice (9 subordinate Regional Mining Authorities) and in Cracow (3 subordinate Regional Mining Authorities). Afterwards, the State Mining Authority in Katowice was the only one functioning from the 50s. It supervised 14 regional mining authorities throughout Poland.
Nowadays, mining supervision is carried out by the State Mining Authority in Katowice, 11 Regional Mining Authorities and the Specialised Mining Authority. The youngest Regional Mining Authority in Gdańsk is supervising establishments carrying out geological work and exploiting minerals in two provinces (Pomeranian and Kuyavian-Pomeranian Province) and in the maritime areas of the Republic of Poland. It was established on 1 April 2015.

The management of the State Mining Authority is made up of the President, two Vice-Presidents and the Director General. The Regional Mining Authorities are managed by directors and their deputies. The main task of the State Mining Authority and subordinate organisational units is to supervise and inspect mining plants in Poland in order to protect lives and health of miners, properly manage mineral deposits, protect the environment in mining areas and reclaim post-mining land.

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