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History of mercury manufacture in Gorlovka

     In the end of 1872 to Donbass there has arrived mountain manager Alexander Andreevich Auerbakh. Later it(he) recollected this time: « When I have started to get acquainted with Donbass, the greater(big) coal mines extracting(obtaining) coal of tens millions of poods as now, did not exist yet. In different places there were only small mines with mines(shafts) depth no more than 30 sazhens, supplied by a horse gate for rise of coal, and frequently and for outflow of water ». Having studied(investigated) local deposits, Auerbakh has stopped on two: the first deposit was continuation of the layers developed by John Yuz, and belonged to brothers Rutchenko. The second was in possession of landowner Shabelskogo — in village Kurakhovo. Coals of  Rutchenko represented the best grades of coke, and from Kurakhovo concerned to so-called ardent coals which were rich with flying substances and were a universal substitute of fire wood in any boilers.

   Kinovar, a mineral, sulfide of mercury, HgS

     In 1873 the engineer for 250 thousand roubles has got at village Kurakhovo Shabelskogo the area 2500 hectars, rented a manor of brothers Rutchenko on conditions of annual payment to everyone on 6000 roubles and has begun construction of two mines.

     Alas, interest of the Frenchmen to Donbass has appeared short. Company Societe Miniere et Industrielle has incurred(carried) substantial damages at construction of cleaning constructions of Moscow-river. To minimize losses, the Frenchmen have sharply reduced financing in Donbass. Protesting against policy(politics) of reductions, Auerbakh in 1876 has refused a post operating mines, has broken off the contract and has left with family from Kurakhovo for Petersburg, and soon — in Theological district of the Perm province as the managing director of factories which melt copper.

Opening of Minenkov

     However communications(connections) with Donbass Auerbakh has not broken off: participated in work of local congresses of the managing directors of mine, advised land owners, for example, landowner Karpova who gathered on the grounds where coal layers have been found out to construct own mine.

     In 1885 Auerbakh has got acquainted with the Donbass engineer who is operating Chegarskoj coal spear of Arcady Vasilevich Minenkov and with its(his) opening. In 1879 Minenkov has casually opened in Nikivovka (today area of Gorlovka) a deposit of mercury ore: expecting a train to Kharkov, it has decided to be passed (be taken place) on beside with station to settlement and has paid attention to stone fences near the houses, combined of sandstone with reddish impregnations. Having asked inhabitants, Minenkov has found out, where there are stone quarries. It were ancient mines (shafts) depth of 12-20 meters, is simple « filled kinovar and mercury ore ». Arcady Vasilevich has addressed to Auerbakh, as to the known expert on mining, for advice (council).

Alexander Andreevich Auerbakh

     Having analysed materials by Minenkov and having convinced of perspectivity of the found deposit, Auerbakh together with the pathbreaker and several more partners has organized company « on belief » (the legal term.) — « Company of mercury manufacture « A.Auerbakh and К0 ». On March, 3rd, 1885 the lease agreement with a society of Nikitovka peasants on the right of development to their grounds of mercury ores has been concluded.

     For studying experience of extraction of mercury Auerbakh with Minenkov have gone to Austria and Spain, for that period — the global centers of extraction of mercury and the basic countries-suppliers of mercury to Russia. On arrival from abroad have decided to build in Nikitovka mine, a factory « on sublimation of mercury » and inhabited settlement. All industrial complex referred to as a name of wife Auerbakh — «Sofia», in it(him), except for a factory, mines(shafts) on extraction of ore "Sofia", «Chegarniki», «Jeleznyanka», later also collieries entered. Construction of a factory have begun in the spring of 1886, and already the first ore on December, 14th has been burnt.

     In Alexander's private life too all developed well. At it(him) two sons, Sergey and Vladimir were born. The family lived in Petersburg near to the Winter palace. Auerbakh was entrance to empress Maria Fedorovne.

  Entrance in mine  «Sofia«.
  The beginning of XX century

Asta la whista, Spain

     Before creation of an industrial complex mercury in Nikitovka in Russian empire was extracted(obtained) in Urals Mountains. However the Ural mercury had no industrial value. Therefore for industrial needs mercury imported from Spain and Austria. The Nikitovskiy factory not only has provided empire with mercury, but also began to export it(her) — in the middle of 90th years of XIX century mercury from Nikitovka began to supersede from the international market Austrian and Spanish. About it(this) Auerbakh  wrote in clause(article) « the Description of mercury mine and a factory »: « In the beginning of 80th years Х1Х of a century it is created new, not existed earlier to Russia, and very important enterprise on manufacture of mercury which satisfies internal need(requirement) of the country for metal... ».

     The industrial complex constantly extended, increasing outputs. Only for first three years of work 1125000 poods (18430) ores have been extracted(obtained). To provide a factory with necessary raw material, new mines were constantly pawned. Auerbakh though had the house and board of the company in Petersburg, the most part of time spent on Donbass. Thus Alexander Andreevich devoted much time not only to industrial questions, but also the decision of social problems. The salary, and by Easter and Christmas — premium at a rate of the monthly salary was paid to all employees and qualified workers of 20 numbers of each month. For employees five duplex houses, on three rooms in each apartment, for qualified workers — twelve same houses, at the rate of on two rooms on an apartment have been constructed. Family usual small houses-dugouts were given. Workers-bachelors lived in five greater(big) general(common) barracks. For heating houses by employee and worker free of charge brought up coal and water, also medicines free of charge stood out. Later the hospital and school have been constructed.

Advertising joint-stock
Auerbah Societies

Staff have solved all

     In 1895 the company had the financial difficulties connected with capital expenses for expansion of mine and with repayment of credits. To solve a problem, in May, 1896 company have transformed to joint-stock company « A.Auerbakha's Mercury business and К0 » with the authorized capital in 2 250 000 roubles distributed(allocated) in 12000 actions(shares) on 187 rbl. 50 copeck for everyone.

     First two years of work of joint-stock company have given positive result. Only for 1897 it has been extracted(obtained) 5,8 million poods (95000) ores, 37600 poods (615) mercuries are sucelted, (25226) coals are lifted on mountain of 1540000 poods. New enterprise Auerbakha began to compete in the international market and the attention of many foreign businessmen has drawn. The London bank of the Rothschild owned the world's largest mercury mine in Spain, has suggested Auerbah to sell the enterprise. However on general meeting of joint-stock company to bank have decided to give up.

     In 1897 in a management(manual) of mine there were changes by « a family principle » as it has appeared in a consequence — not in the best party(side). Instead of the left skilled engineer, one of founders of old company Minenkova, on a post operating mine relative Auerbakha mountain engineer Shamarin has come, by the factory manager cousin Auerbakh, and son of Alexander Andreevich has been appointed(nominated), Sergey (the graduate of the College of mines) became operating coal mine. Absence of skilled experts-experts at once has affected activity of a society — extraction of mercury and coal has decreased.

   Manual work on Toretsk a steelmaking and
   mechanical factory 1914

     Having analysed profitability of the enterprise, Auerbah has suggested to emphasize on development of coal mine and to increase a coal mining up to 7-10 million pood. (115000-164000). Being based on calculations Auerbah, the joint-stock company builds near to mine a classifying section and factory which washes out coal, brings there a waterpipe. All profit received from mercury manufacture, since 1898 began to put in coal mine. As the result — mercury business has fallen into decay, and behind it(him) — the general(common) financial position of a society has worsened.

     One more trouble has come in January, 1899 — on mine(shaft) « Sofia « there was a fire, the mine(shaft) has been flooded and has temporarily left a production cycle. The significant part of workers of "Sofia" has preferred, instead of harmful manufacture, to go to average provinces of Russia on harvesting.

     Shareholders have found a way to rescue(save) business, having taken advantage of a great demand on coke in connection with rapid development of an iron and steel industry. The society has concluded the contract with firm " Evans Koppe " on construction 60 coked coal furnaces within 1900-1901 According to the contract, after five years of operation of the furnace passed in the full property of joint-stock company. The second contract has been concluded with Management of railways on delivery 50 million pood. (820000) coals within 6 years on which the joint-stock company at once has received advance in 500 000 rbl. — money have directed on a bookmark of new mine(shaft) "Maria" and reconstruction of mine(shaft) "Lyudmila".


     However to further long-term plans Auerbah has prevented an economic crisis in Russia 1900-1902 demand for coal and metal that has led to significant reduction of prices and curtailment of production has sharply fallen. The complex(difficult) financial position of the society, compelled(forced) to find means for repayment of loans, payments of percent(interests) and penalties, has even more worsened.

     In searches of an output(exit) from complex(difficult) situation Auerbah will organize in Moscow a warehouse on selling the made production, however a first year of its(his) work instead of profit has yielded losses. The русско-Japanese war 1904-1905 has negatively affected activity of a society And here on general meeting of shareholders the decision « on October, 7th, 1906 was accepted to found administration of creditors above property and affairs of a society », to not put new means, and to search for solid businessmen for sale by it(him) or tenancy of mercury and coal mines.

     Such businessman has soon been found. Merchant Jivotovskiy has concluded with a society the contract of rent for 12 years of coal mine with the right of transfer of the contract to other persons(faces) and societies. And already on May, 30th, 1907 Jivotovskiy at participation of the Азово-Don bank has created in Bruxelles joint-stock company "Rent coal mines of A.Auerbakh", financed by the Roman bank, and has transferred(transmitted) it(him) all the rights. This society maintained coal mine with 1908 for 1910, however because of a proceeded crisis and the big debts to creditors has refused rent and were liquidated. The mercury mine after 1908 because of absence of means has been put on preservation, and mines(shafts) are flooded. Up to 1912 the mine practically did not work.

The Azovo-Don bank in Uzovka

Nota bene!

     After new reorganization by the owner of a society « Rent coal mines of A.Auerbakh » became the Azovo-Don bank. In 1912 in Russian empire has begun economic rise. The joint-stock company, except for operation coal mines, has begun new investigation of mercury ores, in 1913 has got coal mine at Alekseevskoe a mining society. Investigation of mercury ores has yielded encouraging results and the decision on construction of the new enterprise as the old factory was uncomplete was accepted.

In 1914 with Austrian firm "Auhagen" has been concluded the contract on construction of a factory on manufacture of mercury. However construction was interrupted with the First world war. In 1915 at not completed factory the equipment has been established(installed) and from earlier available stocks of ore manufacture of mercury for needs of a war industry is organized. For Auerbah it was not possible to continue participation in revival of the child — in 1916 hereditary nobleman, the valid councillor of state Alexander Andreevich Auerbakh who has put on a modern scientific basis mercury manufacture, equal to which was not in Russia, has died.

With October events 1917 a society « A.Auerbakha's Mercury and coal business and К0 » has stopped activity, and on January, 23rd, 1918 the enterprise has been nationalized.

Presently, per 1991-1992, Nikitovskiy the mercury combine has been declared(announced) by the bankrupt, and then redeemed in parts. Today on its(his) base « the Factory of precision materials », and also the state enterprise, engaged hydroprotection of adjoining territories work as Open Company « Nikitovsk mercury ». We shall notice, that the inventory of deposits of Donbass lead recently has shown presence of a plenty of mercury layers. The majority of experts are assured, that at presence of corresponding(meeting) investments to revive unique manufacture of mercury to Ukraine quite on forces.

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