Mechel reopens mine after 11-month suspension

RUSSIAN coking coal giant Mechel has relaunched its Sibirginsk underground mine after safety concerns over coal self-heating in a mined-out area had suspended operations in June 2011.
Mechel reopens mine after 11-month suspension Mechel reopens mine after 11-month suspension Mechel reopens mine after 11-month suspension Mechel reopens mine after 11-month suspension Mechel reopens mine after 11-month suspension

Mechel subsidiary Southern Kuzbass Coal Company.

Justin Niessner

The resumption of operations at the mine follows the assembly of a mechanized longwall complex, receipt of required mining documents and safety upgrades.

Mechel Mining Management Company chief executive Boris Nikishichev said getting the mine back online would boost the company’s financial and production results for the year.

“Thanks to the efforts of [Mechel subsidiary] Southern Kuzbass Coal Company OAO’s experts, a lot of work was done on eliminating the reasons for the mine’s suspension in 2011, assembling the new high-performance equipment, ensuring mine safety and resuming production,” Nikishichev said.

“Re-launching operations at the mine will allow us to increase production and sales of coking coal, which should have positive impact on this year’s results for the whole of the company’s mining division.”

Sibirginsk is situated in Russia’s coal-rich Kuznetsk Basin and is estimated by the miner to contain 1.5 million tonnes of mineable reserves, with a breaking face due to produce 100,000 tonnes per month.

Mechel’s business is segmented into mining, steel, ferroalloy and power, with production of coal, iron ore concentrate, nickel, steel, ferrochrome, ferrosilicon, rolled products, hardware, heat and electric power.

The Moscow-based miner has a sizeable presence in the US as well, owning more than a dozen active surface and underground coal operations through several subsidiaries including Double Bonus and Dynamic Energy.

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