5 Nov 2009 17:02

MMK could boost coal output at Belon 70% by 2013

MOSCOW. Nov 5 (Interfax) - Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) plans to boost coking coal output at Belon, the company it recently consolidated more than 80% of the shares in, from a planned 3.9 million tonnes this year to 6.8 million tonnes by 2013, MMK said in materials.

Coking coal should rise 56% from this year's anticipated 2.75 million tonnes to 4.3 million tonnes.

Belon also plans to stop purchasing coal for its washing plants in order to increase profitability.

MMK recently consolidated 100% of a company called Onarbay Enterprises Ltd, which owns 82.6% of Belon, which operates in the coal-rich Kuznetsk basin (Kuzbass), Kemerovo region. MMK, which originally owned 43.1% of Belon, bought Andrei Dobrov, Belon's general director, out of the company in a deal estimated at $300 million.

Overall coal production by Belon in the first half of 2009 32% year-on-year to 3.122 million tonnes, including 1.81 million tonnes of coking coal, up 30%, and 1.312 million tonnes of steam coal, up 35% year-on-year.

Throughput at coal washing plants rose by 15,000 tonnes to 3.946 million tonnes, 78% of which was mined by Belon itself (48% in H1 2008).

Belon's deep mines have 630 million tonnes of coal reserves.