Mechel OAO Announces Work Suspension at the New Olzherasskaya Underground Mine
Moscow, Russia – September 3, 2010. – Mechel OAO (NYSE: MTL), one of the leading Russian mining and steel companies, announces work suspension at New-Olzherasskaya Underground mine which is a part of Southern Kuzbass OAO due to coal self-heating in the long wall face No. 21-1-7.
In the middle of August 2010, coal self-heating occurred at the production area of the long wall face No. 21-1-7 of New-Olzherasskaya Underground mine (Southern Kuzbass OAO, Mechel’s coal mining subsidiary). Mining operations are currently suspended.
Southern Kuzbass OAO experts developed measures to prevent possible negative consequences of this accident. The production area is temporally isolated. Specialists constantly gather information about gas concentration in the isolated area by means of remote sampling as well as through surface drill holes. The production area is being fed with inert foam and inert materials.
At the present moment the self-heating center is being isolated. The entire mine infrastructure – transport, ventilation system, dewatering, power facilities, drifting faces and stopes are in working condition and safe.
Suspension of the mine will not cause delay in coal deliveries to customers since there is enough coal at the New-Olzherasskaya Underground mine warehouse. Coal from the warehouse together with coal from Olzherasskiy Open Pit is being washed by Kuzbasskaya Coal Washing Plant and delivered to the customers. According to the preliminary estimates elimination of accident may take up to 6 months.
Miners from New-Olzherasskaya Underground mine take part in recovery works, a part of employees were moved to Sibirginskaya mine and Department for Mining Equipment Installation.
New-Olzherasskaya Underground mine was commissioned on September 29, 2006. The mine produces coal of GZhO grade. The long wall face No. 21-1-7 was launched at the beginning of May, 2010. It’s coal reserves amount to 3 mln. tonnes and length is about 200 meters.