Mechel OAO the Russian mining and metals company has announced that it will build a $12 million processing plant in Keystone, McDowell County, West Virginia, USA. This move will allow Mechel OAO to double its metallurgical coal production from the mines it owns and operates in southern West Virginia.
The plant which will be able to handle 3 million tons of coal on a yearly basis will initially run at one third its capacity. The project is an outcome of Asia’s demand for coal for steel making, with prices globally getting pushed up thanks to this demand from Asia.
Boris Nikishichev, chief executive of Mechel Mining Management Company said that the Keystone low-volatile metallurgical coal is of a very high quality and is in great demand throughout the world. He said that their plans to step up coal production required them to boost the processing volumes as well.
The plant will be used by Mechel to increase the amount of coal recovered from rocks removed while mining thin seams like the ones that occur in McDowell County. The Russian company bought its way into the coal industry in the US after it acquired Jim Justice’s West Virginian coal mines for preferred shares and $436 million in cash.