Razrez Arshanovsky has officially opened an open-cast coal mine in Khakassia Republic, Siberia.

Said to be the largest-of-its-kind, the mine is expected to produce 10 million tons of coal at full capacity.

Khakassia Republic head Viktor Zimin was quoted by Siberian Times as saying that the mine would allow the region to grow as the second largest in Russia.

"This is ambitious, but it will have a direct impact on the opening of new industries, the creation of new jobs, and increasing welfare."

In May 2012, Razrez Arshanovsky secured license to extract up to two billion tons of coal over 167 years.

The mine currently has a workforce of 303, and is expected to produce two million tons of coal this year with plans to ramp up to five million tons in 2017.

Razrez Arshanovsky has faced severe oppositions from the local residents over pollution fears into Abakan River; however, the environmental experts approved the project as safe.

The company has built a water treatment plant in Khakassia, and plans to construct a railway line to serve as loading station for coal.