17 Aug 2023 13:27

MMK to automate mining at Chertinskaya-Koksovaya coal mine

KEMEROVO. Aug 17 (Interfax) - MMK-Coal, a division of Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) , plans to convert its Chertinskaya-Koksovaya underground mine in Kemerovo Region to unmanned coal mining technology, the Russian steelmaker reported.

The mine is now finalizing the preparation of a seam with reserves of 14.7 million tonnes of Zh rank coking coal. Unmanned mining is scheduled to begin at the end of 2025.

Production is expected to total 1.8 million-2.2 million tonnes per year, which would be an increase of 6-29% over the 1.7 million tonnes mined in 2022.

"The introduction of extraction work using unmanned mining technology will make it possible [...] to reduce the presence of people at the face by automating all processes, radically reduce injuries and increase the safety of production," MMK said.

The company said it plans to build a "mechanized longwall system with unmanned coal mining: an operator will control the face equipment from a neighboring drift with the help of a video camera and many sensors installed on the cutting machine."

State expert review office Glavgosexpertiza has already approved the project, the company said.

The project will also include de-mothballing an existing inclined shaft, building a new one and expanding the existing worksite and monorail (for delivery of people, materials and freight to the mine), as well as installation of a main fan and modular boiler at the worksite, a firefighting pump station, power supply facilities, a settlement pond for runoff and mine water and other auxiliary facilities.

MMK-Coal includes the Chertinskaya-Koksovaya, Kostromovskaya, Chertinskaya-Yuzhnaya (mothballed) mines, as well as the Tikhov mine, which was acquired from PJSC Koks , the parent company of Industrial Metallurgical Holding, in July. The division also includes the Belovskaya Central Washing Plant and service enterprises. All of these assets are located in Kemerovo Region.