Mechel OAO has finished laying tracks from the Ulak station to the massive Elga coking coal deposit which is being developed by Mechel Mining’s Yakutugol subsidiary. The last section of track of the 321-km railway link was laid in December 2011. The 40-billion-ruble ($1.25 billion) construction project has opened traffic along the entire route from Baikal-Amur Mainline’s Ulak station to the Elga deposit.
“The railway’s completion is one of the most complicated and important stages in implementing the unique project of developing the Elga coal deposit, which is one of the world’s largest coking coalfields. This project’s scale is unique for the mining industry. Completion of railway construction together with the launch of mining at the deposit in such a short time, considering the global financial crisis in 2008-2009, once again proves that Mechel is one of the few companies with the potential to handle a project of such magnitude,” said Igor Zyuzin, chairman, Mechel.
Mechel began constructing the Elga railway link in February 2008. The railway was built in difficult climatic and geological conditions. A total of 76 bridges were built in the course of the railway’s construction. Mining at the Elga open-pit began in August 2011, producing some 200,000 metric tons by the year’s end.