Medieval stećak tombstones at five locations, Roman forts in the villages Tutnjevac and Mezgraja (Jablan town), and the site on Baljak hill in village Bogutov, where an ancient Greek coin was found, confirm that the area of modern-day Ugljevik was also inhabited in the distant past.
There were frequent changes of rulers in the Middle Ages. Hungarian kings, Serbian despots and Bosnian lords came one after another.
The name Ugljevik was first mentioned in the Turkish census of 1533. The place got the name after coal (Serbian: ugalj), whose organised production started only in 1899, under the Austro-Hungarian rule.
Plans to build power plants and expansion of the mine, in order to increase production of coal for electricity production, announced the disappearance of Old Ugljevik.
In the 1980s, the construction of a new Ugljevik, where entire villages and hamlets within the new mine were relocated, began just five kilometers away in the plain near the River Janja.