UC Rusal, a leading global aluminum producer based in Moscow, launched the first start-up complex at the Cheremoukhovskaya-Gloubokaya mine in the North Urals. At a depth of 1,550 meters, it will be the deepest mine in Russia and rank among the top five deepest mines in the world. Total investment in the mine to date is more than 5.8 billion rubles ($110 million).

The project will provide access to new bauxite deposits and optimized ore extraction, and transportation processes will decrease bauxite cash costs by 15%.

Active construction of the mine began in 2010. The bauxite reserves are estimated to be 42 million metric tons (mt).

“For the first time in 10 years, a new mine has opened in the North Urals. We plan to produce up to 1.2 million mt of bauxite annually at Cheremoukhovskaya-Gloubokaya. The mine’s high production potential will ensure the stable development of Severouralsk and nearby Krasnoturyinsk, where the Bogoslovsky aluminum smelter is located, and to where 95% of the bauxite mined is shipped,” said Vladislav Soloviev, CEO of Rusal.

The mine has three hoists on one headframe; a manlift; a rock hoist and an ore hoist. A second stage is planned for 2016, which will include a mine elevator with two skips for bauxite dispatch, intra-railways, ore lines and landscaping. The third stage, which is expected to launch in 2017, will include a two-level hoisting system with a capacity for 40 people per level and a fan for the southern ventilation shaft. Total investment for the second and third stages will be more than 1.5 billion rubles ($28 million).