The town is situated in the south-eastern part of the Upper Nitra region, on the main urban axis Trenčín - Bánovce - Prievidza - Handlová - Žiar, with more than a century of tradition in the mining industry. The Handlovská mine is the oldest brown coal mine in Slovakia. Industrial coal mining began here in 1909. The Slovak government will end subsidizing electricity production from Handlov coal by 31 December 2023 at the latest. Handlová - and the entire brown coal region - is awaiting transformation.