Russian coal and metal producer Mechel OAO said that Southern Kuzbass produced the first coking coal concentrate from the massive Elga deposit. A sample lot of 4,000 metric tons of Elga coking coal was washed at the Southern Kuzbass Sibir prep plant. The quality of the concentrate ranks the Elga deposit among the higher-value grades of coking coals, according to Mechel.

“Use of the Elga deposit’s coking coal will provide Mechel’s coke and chemical facilities with fully internally-sourced fuel, which will enable us to significantly improve our coke products’ quality and guarantee our independence from external suppliers. Elga Coal Complex’s products will allow Mechel to increase exports of coal grades that are in demand,” said Igor Zyuzin, chairman, Mechel.

Mechel will also use this information to design and construct a prep plant at the Elga Coal Complex. Production at the complex began in August 2011. During the first few months, the open-pit produced only oxidized coals, characterized as steam coals with high calorific value. Since August, about 200,000 mt of coal have been mined, according to Mechel.