(EnergyAsia, December 29 2011, Thursday) — Mechel OAO, an NYSE-listed Russian mining and metals company, said a subsidiary has confirmed the “high quality” of coal deposit from its Elga mine in southwestern Siberia.

Southern Kuzbass Coal Company’s washing plant recently produced its first coking coal concentrate out of mine.

“A sample lot of some 4,000 tonnes of Elga’s coking coal was washed at Southern Kuzbass Coal Company OAO’s Sibir plant. The concentrate obtained by industrial washing has qualities which rate the Elga deposit’s coals with high-value grades of caking coals,” said Mechel. The concentrate was tested for industrial coking by Mechel-Coke OOO.

The company added: “Using coal of this quality allows production of coke with high structural durability, which in its turn helps improve technological and economic results of blast furnace production.

“Results of the coking coal washing tests will enable a better understanding of the technological specifics of working with Elga coal. This information will be used in designing and constructing.”

The Elga open pit mine, which started up in August 2011, has produced 20,000 tonnes of oxidised coals, characterised as steam coals with high calorific value.

Mechel OAO chairman Igor Zyuzin said:

“Use of the Elga deposit’s coking coal will provide Mechel’s coke and chemical facilities with fully internally-sourced fuel, which will enable us to significantly improve our coke products’ quality and guarantee our independence from external suppliers. Moreover, Elga Coal Complex’s products will allow Mechel to increase exports of coal grades that are in demand.”