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Fig. 1. Aerial photo of Uvalnaya. // Bild 1. Luftaufnahme Uvalnaya. Photo/Foto: Jacobi & Partner Industrieberatung

Excellent German-Russian collaboration: The Uvalnaya project

The new Uvalnaya coking coal mine is being established near Novokuznetsk in Russia (Figure 1). There are four coal seams at a depth of 100 to 400 m that range in thickness from 2 m to 3.5 m. The German institutions DMT GmbH & Co. KG, Essen, and RWTH Aachen have analyzed the coal. Coking tests performed by DMT have shown that the coking coal has several exceptional properties.

In light of rising coal prices, this investment has come at exactly the right time. Coking coal mines are being closed across the globe and there is scarcely any new investment in the sector. However, the coal in Uvalnaya has excellent market opportunities, particularly once the steel industry starts to pick up steam again.

“I have never seen coal like this in Russia, even in the neighbourhood of the new mine,” comments Ingo Elsner, Head of Trading within the RAG Group. The special feature of this coking coal is its low internal gas pressure. Many coking coals from other deposits display excessively high internal gas pressure, which can damage the coke ovens at the coking plants. It is now possible to compensate for unpleasant properties of this kind by adding coal from the new Uvalnaya mine. Elsner: “I know many coking plants that are looking for precisely this coal, as they need to add around 30 % to achieve the perfect mix. The DMT certificate confirms this: “Many properties of the Uvalnaya coal are very favourable for a hard coking coal” and: “The quality of the coke from the first test shows good CRI and CSR values”.

Alongside DMT and RWTH Aachen, other German companies are involved in the mine, including GTA Maschinensysteme GmbH, Hamminkeln, SMT Scharf GmbH, Hamm, Becker Mining Systems AG, Friedrichsthal, CFT GmbH, Gladbeck, Aumund Fördertechnik GmbH, Rheinberg, and Hauhinco Maschinenfabrik G. Hausherr Jochums GmbH & Co. KG, Sprockhövel, – suppliers that are known worldwide for their high-grade products. The mine is equipped with the latest technology. This guarantees a high safety standard and high performance.

Work on the mine is progressing on schedule. The first seam has been reached and the first main fan installed. Construction work for the open-cast mining areas is also running at full speed. The concrete work is scheduled for completion in 2017, as temperatures of –30 °C are nothing unusual for this region.

The process engineering for the coal washing plant has been performed by DMT, which has more than 100 years of experience in the preparation of coal, while companies including Siebtechnik GmbH, Mülheim/Ruhr, Allmineral Aufbereitungs-technik GmbH & Co. KG, Duisburg, Schenck Process Europe GmbH, Darmstadt, Andritz AG, Graz/Austria, will supply tried-and-tested key components. The Uvalnaya mine is anticipated to assume full operations in 2018. (Jacobi & Partner Industrieberatung/Si.)