FNDN Kohtla Mining Park Museum
The Kohtla oil shale mine was established in 1937 by the British company New Consolidated Gold Fields Ltd, in order to supply the oil industries with oil shale. Kohtla, as one of the centres of the Ida-Virumaa mining area, was special because of the simultaneous underground and opencast mining, as well as the unique hand sorting premises built in 1957, where manual work by women was the main tool used for beneficiation of oil shale, until the mine was closed.
On 1 April 2001, Kohtla mine was closed after 64 years of work having manufactured approximately 48,329,542 tons of oil shale.
Immediately after the closure, the project for opening a mining park and a museum at the premises of the Kohtla-Nõmme mine, known for its high work culture, low manufacturing costs and excellent upkeep, started. The preparations lasted for a few months, after which the first visitors were welcomed in the underground museum on 1 December 2001.
On 2 October 2001, the Foundation Kohtla Mining Park Museum was established in order to operate the underground museum and develop and manage the visitor and leisure centre.
The mission of the foundation is to develop and promote one of the most unique areas in Ida-Virumaa that is in the process of becoming an attractive and nationally important tourist centre.
The established mining park is becoming a modern visitor centre introducing the history of Estonian oil shale energetics in an interactive manner from the geological formation of mineral wealth and mining till bringing electricity to end-users and the perspectives of oil shale in the future.