13 Dec 2010 16:51

Mechel launches new coal washing plant in U.S.

MOSCOW. Dec 13 (Interfax) - Mechel has commissioned its U.S.-based subsidiary Mechel Bluestone's newest coal processing plant for washing coal mined at the Keystone Operations near Keystone, West Virginia, Mechel said in a statement.

The K2 plant, worth $12 million dollars in investments, can process annually up to 3 million tonnes of run-of-mine coal. Annual production volume at the first stage is expected to exceed 1 million tonnes. The plant can efficiently recover high-quality low-volatile coking coal from high reject material common to thin-seam mining operations.

The launch will allow Mechel Bluestone to double its production of low-volatile coking coal.

"The plant was built to meet all modern requirements. Its every production process is highly computerized, including computer-aided coal quality control. The Keystone low-volatile metallurgical coal is of a very high quality and is in great demand throughout the world. Our plans to step up coal production required us to boost processing volumes as well," said Boris Nikishichev, CEO of Mechel Mining Management Company.

Mechel has consolidated controlling stakes in coal and steel companies and a number of ports. General Director Igor Zyuzin is Mechel's chief beneficiary. The free float is around 30%.