Donbass and its main treasure - coal become a base for the development of industry and economy as a whole of the East of Ukraine.
A row of deep studies is dedicated to the problem of the formation of Donbass. It allows to value objectively the role of mining engineers, geologists, manufacturers and of many other people who worked hard to the glory of our region. With this essay we'll try to clear out the question: who was the first to open Donbass?
Finding of coal and the beginning of coal mining are connected with the populating of the south edge and the development of its economy. To the beginning of the XVIII century the whole territory of Donetsk basin was under the influence of Crimean khanate and Turkey, or was just a border zone. The interest to natural resources appears simultaneously with the approving of Russia on southlands and their occupying. Coal, in many places left on surface of the land, attracted attention of the local inhabitants and, probably, because of the shortage of fuel was used for domestic necessities and in some of blacksmith's workshops.
The main role in organizations of searching of natural resources in the south of the country in this period belongs to Peter the I st. Created by him Berg-collegium managed the work of searching groups. These groups consisted of mining engineers and researchers. They were also concerned with the determination of quality of found minerals.
After detailed documentary studies the historian of Donbass V.Podov has founded that the "first officially registered discovery of coal in Donbass near Bahmut was made in 1721 by official Nikita Vepreysky and captain Semen Chirkov" (1). This has refused existed for a long time opinion that the first discovery of coal was made by Grigory Kapustin in Bahmut province beside river White. Grigory Kapustin made his discovery several years later. Documents show that in January 1723 he discovered coal at the eastern part of Donbass. During first decades of XVIII century there were no systematical searches of natural resources in Donbass. The whole region stayed not very mach populated. Officers and soldiers that in 1752 came on service to Russia from Austro-Hungary had founded military settlings. The population of such settlings was renewed by peasants, arriving basically from the central parts of Ukraine.
With the second half of the XVIIIth century after the liberation of Priazovie and Prichernomorie from the domination of Turkey and Crimean khanate, the quick populating of the edge began. Here Chernomorsky fleet and fortresses were built. The cities of Ekaterinoslav (1767), Mariupol (1784), Sevastopol (1783), Rostov-on-Don (1781), and Herson (1778) were founded.
The growth of population gave a push to the development of the economy.
By that time the first systematic exploratory work in Donbass was organized. It was the initiative of Novorossiysk's governor G. Potemkin and commanders of Chernomorsky fleet and port. Searching works were managed by professors M. Afonin and M. Livanov. Then quest was continued under the guidance of mining engineer N.F. Avramov, which in December 1792 has found coming on the surface layers of coal in Lisichya Balka. In 1793 its development was organized. An

outstanding step in the development of Donbass' recourses was the foundation of Lugansk plant and the first in Russia coal mine in Lisichy.

Exhibit 1. Geological map of Donbass from the book of E.P. Kovalevsky
"Geognostic review of Donetsk mountain ridge", 1829.
Mastering of the processes of the reception of cast iron from iron ore on coke coal of Donbass has required the organization of searching of suitable materials. Geological studies of Donbass for more than half of the XIX century were conducted basically by searching expeditions of Lugansk plant, managed by its mountain engineers.
One of the most outstanding representatives of Lugansk's school was prominent geologist Evgraf Petrovich Kovalevsky. He was the first, who has scientifically generalized the results of these works and in his own works presented
Donetsk region as a united geological formation. Evgraf Kovalevsky was the first to define the borders and geological construction of the region on the area of 20.5 thousand square km, located in the basin of Seversky Donets. He named it Donetsk mountain ridge. He gave the scientific description of the location and age of the rocks, has indicated economic practicability of its development, has selected 3 brands of coal (coke, anthracite and lean), pointed the place and conditions of their placement. He has composed the Petrographic map of Donbass (exhibits 1, 2).

Exhibit 2. Petrografic test of Donbass, provided in book of E.P. Kovalevsky "Geognostic review of Donetsk mountain ridge", 1829.

E.P. Kovalevsky came into the history of Donbass as an outstanding scientist- geologist. He was the first who gave the description of Donbass' depths. His activity has turned the geological studies of our region on scientific base. All told above confirms that the honour of the scientific opening of Donbass, as one of the largest industrial regions of the world, belongs to E.P. Kovalevsky.
УДК 519.86

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Источник: Неизвестный. Проблемы горного дела и экологии горного производства: Матер. IV междунар. науч.-практ. конф. (14-15 мая 2009 г., г. Антрацит) - Донецк. 2009


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