Donetsk, Oct 26 — DAN. State-owned and private collieries in the Donetsk People’s Republic are expected to produce seven million tons of coal next year, DPR Coal and Energy Minister Andrey Chertkov told the Donetsk News Agency.

“In 2023, the enterprises managed by the DPR Coal and Energy Ministry are expected to produce 3.5 million tons, while the overall production, which includes the output of private producers and partnerships will reach some seven million tons, ” Chertkov said.

In the medium term, the Ministry plans to boost the output at state-owned companies to 6.5 million tons of coal a year. It will shut down the loss-making companies, upgrade the promising ones and restore the Skochinsky and Zasyadko collieries damaged by Ukrainian artillery attacks, he said.

Earlier reports on Wednesday said that DPR authorities were considering the possibility to privatize or lease profitable coal companies.*jk