Granite mine in Mikashevichy
Mikashevichy is a small town in Luninets district of Brest region, known outside Belarus as the biggest granite mine in Europe. It is hard to believe, but Mikashevichy mine is the only place in Belarus, which is two meters below sea level. It is predicted that in the future the depth will be even twelve meters more.
The city and that time Mikashevichy village was founded in the seventies of the 20th century, when the granite mine was discovered. Enterprise “Granit” was founded that time, when took place the industrial miracle of Belarus, where more than forty years granite was continuously being extracted. The first explosion on the territory of Mikashevichy occurred in 1973. Originally it was planned that it will produce six million tons of macadam per year, but now increased capacities allow producing eleven tons.
The growing demand for mined granite led to an active development of Mikashevichy. The mine developed rapidly, and necessary for work specialists, engineers and workers gathered there. The development of the city noticeably stopped in 1986, when the territory of the city suffered greatly fr om the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. The city made a list of locations where the intensity of contamination ranged from one to fifteen curies per square kilometer.
Gradually, the consequences of the accident were eliminated, but it couldn’t affect the industrial and demographic situation as a whole. However, despite the fact that since the beginning of 2000, Mikashevichy population didn’t increase, in 2005 it was granted city status.
Granite mine is one of the attractions, along with “Belarusian Maldives" that are definitely worth seeing at least once in life. It impresses with its scale: nowadays its size is 1860 meters wide and 2985 meters long. Production has already deepened by 130 meters, and in the future, by the end of resource production, it is said that the depth will reach a record of 220 meters!
Now the mine has a breathtaking view. Since it is being developed gradually, because of a series of explosions, it looks like a huge terraced amphitheater. Along the perimeter of the mine the powerful stairs are formed (which are called horizons); they recall mountain roads - serpentines. To get to the bottom of the mine, it is necessary to overcome these seventeen serpentines! An amazing view opens, if you stand on the edge of the mine and look down at 45-ton Belaz that seem to be ants out of there, and in fact one such machine is four meters high!
Drivers make about thirty hauls for a shift up and down the serpentine, exporting 40-42 tons out of granite mine. According to them, the height discontinuity is so palpable, that sometimes the ears are popping as if you are flying an airplane.
Mine resource will run out in twenty-five - thirty years. After that, on this place a lake, deep and pure, like the Russian Baikal will appear. Lake, albeit being still hypothetical, is the most majestic and grandiose one in Belarus and the mine is being actively developed and expanded. Gradually, the company "Granit" began granite mining in neighboring Sitnitsa.
In one word, to assess the size of Mikashevichy granite mine, it is necessary to visit it personally. "Granite" equipped several viewing platforms wh ere you can take the amazing photos that are not worse than those of the Caucasus. Believe, no one will remain indifferent to this grandiose sight!