Mibrag has conducted probes near the eastern German village of Roecken since 2006 and if tests come back positive for coal deposits, the town may have to make room for strip mining, Deutsche Welle said Wednesday.
That could threaten Nietzsche's home and grave. Community opinion is split, with many supporting the possibility of jobs in the downtrodden village and others opposing drilling near the German philosopher's grave.
Mibrag officials said they would respect the cultural heritage of the area. Mining operations wouldn't start until at least 2025.
Ironically, one of Nietzsche's couplets reads: "Light is everything that I touch/ And coal everything I leave behind."