(EnergyAsia, October 3 2012, Wednesday) — Mechel OAO, a leading Russian mining and metals company, said it has started up a seasonal washing plant to process coking coal mined at the Elga deposit.

Equipped with the latest technology, the 2-billion-ruble plant has the capacity to produce up to three million tonnes of coking coal concentrate a year. (US$1=31 ruble).

Mechel chairman Igor Zyuzin said the plant’s launch was an important milestone for the company as it ties in with the development of the world’s largest coking coal deposits in the Elga.

“Following the completion of railway connecting the deposit with Baikal-Amur Mainline the launch of washing facilities allows to mine and process coal at Elga open-pit on production scale and start receiving benefits from vast investment in the project development,” he said.

Mechel counts mining, steel, ferroalloy and power as its four main businesses.