Interfax Mining and Metal Report said Russian company Kuzbassugol, a subsidiary of metals group Severstal, plans to ramp up production of the new mine by early 2005 with an initial capacity of 600,000 tonnes of coking coal. The company hopes output will then be lifted to 800,000 tonnes per year once the mine hits full capacity.
Interfax said the company had initially considered selling its 60% stake in the mine, but, due to a shortage of Zh brand coal, decided to mine the No. 6 seam.
The seam averages 0.8 meters and contains 6 million tonnes of coal. The company is also considering mining two other smaller seams with combined reserves of nine million tonnes.
Kuzbassugol will soon begin hiring specialists and putting together a tunnelling team with 500 new jobs envisaged by 2006.
The Kuzbass is the largest among other active coal basins of our country by the coal reserve amount and the coal qualities. It holds more than 35% of total coal reserve of Russia, and more than 66% of coking coal reserves.
KuzbassUgol is one of five largest coal companies of Russia. It consists of more than 30 enterprises: 13 mines, 2 preparation plants, 14 auxiliary enterprises.