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Mechel Implements New Coal Washing and Dewatering Technology at Elga Coal Complex

Mechel OAO, one of the leading Russian mining and metals companies, reports implementing a new coal washing and dewatering technology at Elga Coal Complex's seasonal washing plant. Investment in this project totaled some two million US dollars.

The launch of two membrane filter presses produced by Tecnicas Hidraulicas will enable the complex to filter slime waters under pressure and make intensive mechanical dewatering of small coal fractions. This technology will boost the seasonal washing plant's end-product capacity by 10% (from 2 million tonnes to 2.3 million tonnes annually) and reduce the facility's consumption of process water by 2.5-3 times.

Currently work still continues on transferring Elga's seasonal washing plant to all-year operation mode. The works are scheduled to be completed in October-November, which will enable the plant to reach 2.7-million-tonne annual capacity.

The new technology enables the plant to loop the ultrafine coal and clarified water system and fully exclude the possibility of waste waters getting into external hydraulic facilities. This complies with the ecological safety requirements as set in the Russian environment protection law.

"Construction of Elga Coal Complex's facilities is being conducted exclusively with the use of state-of-the-art technologies that will enable us to make the Elga project one of global leaders by its cost efficiency and profit. Besides, we make maximum effort to increase the quality of our coal products, which is, in our conviction, the project's trademark," Mechel OAO's Chief Executive Officer Oleg Korzhov commented.

Mechel is an international mining and steel company which employs over 70,000 people. Its products are marketed in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa. Mechel unites producers of coal, iron ore concentrate, steel, rolled products, ferroalloys, heat and electric power. All of its enterprises work in a single production chain, from raw materials to high value-added products.

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