“Last year was extremely successful for our company’s operational activity as we increased output of all core products. Total coal output increased significantly, mainly due to expensive coking coal,” Mechel chief operating officer Alexey Ivanushkin said.
“Such growth of production volumes was supported by successful implementation of our programs for technical modernisation and commissioning of the Olzherasskaya mine, which utilises unique Russian technology.”
Mechel commissioned the $US100 mine ($A127.9 million) Olzherasskaya mine in September. The ramp up will allow mine owner and Mechel subsidiary, Southern Kuzbass OAO, to increase its coal output by 1.8 million tonnes this year.
Southern Kuzbass will use “high capacity roadheaders” for development and “the coal is extracted with a powered mining complex using the sub-level caving method that enables thick seam mining in one layer”, the company said.
“Along with advanced mining equipment, special surface machinery was installed that provides for degasification in the extraction area, and for prevention of spontaneous coal combustion,” it said.
During 2006, Mechel produced 17Mt of coal, up 9% on 2005 figures.
Of the coal mix, coking coal output was 9.7Mt (up 13%) and steam coal was up 4% at 7.3Mt.