EVRAZ started production at the first longwall face (#3-40) of the Eastern Block at the Alardinskaya mine, Yuzhkuzbassugol. The total investments into the project exceed RUB 1 bln.
The commercial reserves of the new face stand at about three million tonnes of coal. The company plans to exhaust them over three years, producing about 170 to 200 thousand tonnes per month.
The project called Stripping And Preparation of The Eastern Block started in March, 2013 and was completed two months earlier than planned. Over this period, maintenance works were performed on the ventilation and power supply systems, water drainage facilities were upgraded. Over eight kilometers of tunnels were mined as part of the project.
To enable direct transportation of mined coal from the Eastern Block to the coal storage site, a state-of-the-art seven-kilometer long conveyor line was put into operation. In the mine itself, two Pioma conveyors were installed, connecting the Central and the Eastern Blocks. New conveyors with a 1,400 mm wide belt have a high transportation capacity of up to 2,000 tonnes of coal an hour.
A special focus was made on safety and ensuring a stable air and gas situation. Preliminary degassing is carried out with a mobile degassing unit on the surface. To maintain a stable gas content in the mined tunnels, a special gas suction unit is installed.
“Importance-wise, starting production here can be compared to launching a new mine,” notes Sergey Stepanov, EVRAZ Vice-President, Coal Division. “A professional team worked on the project for several years, preparing the most difficult part of the Eastern Block for mining. Our key objectives today are reducing the ash content in the mined coal and selecting the right enrichment technology to provide coal concentrate production at a competitive cost.”
The registered reserves of the Eastern Block at the Alardinslaya mine are about 15 mln tonnes of premium-grade KS coal, which guarantees the mine a non-stop production for the nearest five years.