The Raspadskaya coal mining operation is located near Mezhdurechensk in the Kemerovo Oblast of Russia.

Moscow-listed Raspadskaya is the owner and operator of Raspadskaya coal mines. Evraz, a metals and mining company based in Russian, holds a controlling stake of 83.84% in Raspadskaya.

The Raspadskaya coal mining project comprises three underground mines and two open-pit mines. The underground mines include Raspadskaya, Raspadskaya-Koksovaya and MUK 96, while the open-pit mines are Razrez Raspadsky and Raspadskaya-Koksovaya.

Raspadskaya has been producing hard, semi-hard as well as semi-soft coking coal since 1973, which is primarily used by the steel mills.

Location and geology

The Raspadskaya coal mines are located in the Kuznetsk Coal Basin in the Kemerovo Oblast of Russia.

The Kuznetsk Coal Basin that covers approximately 25,900km2 in southwestern Siberia is one of the largest coal mining areas in Russia.

Raspadskaya coal mines details

The Raspadskaya underground mine is the biggest among the five operating mines in the Raspadskaya complex, by recoverable reserves as well as production capacity.

The cumulative raw coal extraction from the Raspadskaya mine exceeded 260Mt in 2018 since it started production in December 1973.

Longwall underground mining method is employed at the Raspadskaya mine.  The current depth of the underground coal mine is approximately 600m. A methane gas explosions took place at the mine resulting in the death of 91 miners and rescuers in May 2010.

Coal production from the MUK 96 underground mine started in 1996, while the Razrez Raspadsky open-pit mine commenced coal production in 2004.

Raspadskaya-Koksovaya comprises an underground as well as an open-pit mine. The room and pillar mining method was being used at the underground mine which began operations in 2003. It was replaced by the longwall mining method in April 2019.

The Raspadskaya-Koksovaya open-pit mine produced 1.7Mt coking coal in 2018, while production from the underground mine was reported to be 0.5Mt.

Raspadskaya coal reserves 

The Raspadskaya mines were estimated to contain 1.34 billion tonnes of proven and probable coking coal reserves as of December 2018.

The Raspadskaya underground coal mine alone was estimated to hold 918Mt of recoverable coal reserves.

Coal production from the Raspadskaya mines

The total coal production from the Raspadskaya coal mines was reported to be 12.7Mt in 2018, compared to 11.4Mt in 2017.

The Raspadskaya coal mine complex produced 10.1Mt of raw coal and 6.2Mt of cooking coal concentrate in the nine-months ending September 2019.

Coal processing and transportation

The coal produced from the Raspadskaya coal mines is processed at the Raspadskaya coal washing plant at Mezhdurechensk.

The Raspadskaya coal washing plant comprises three processing circuits with a total capacity to produce 15Mt of coking coal concentrates a year.

Floatation equipment was added at the third processing circuit of the plant for improving the quality of coal concentrate in 2017.

Tomusinsk Handling and Transport Company, a subsidiary of Raspadskaya, is responsible for transporting the raw coking coal from the mine area to the coal concentrate preparation plant in Mezhdurechensk. It also transports the processed coal from the plant to the Mezhdurechencsk railway station which is operated by the Russian Railways.

Evraz’s stake in Raspadskaya

Evraz, an integrated steel and mining company based in Russia, earlier held a 41% stake in Raspadskaya through a 50% ownership in Corber Enterprises that owned an 82% stake in Raspadskaya.

Evraz increased its ownership to 82% by buying the remaining 50% stake in Corber Enterprises through a £600m ($964m) cash-and-stock deal in January 2013.

Evraz has further increased its stake in the Raspadskaya mining operation to 83.84%.

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, owner of English Premier League club Chelsea, held a 28.77% stake in Evraz as of June 2019.

Equipment suppliers for the Raspadskaya mine

Joy Mining Machinery, now part of Komatsu, supplied JOY 4LS20 shearer to Raspadskaya mine for carrying out longwall mining.

Bucyrus, which was acquired by Caterpillar in 2011, and Glinik, a subsidiary of Famur Group, are the equipment suppliers for the longwall mining operation at Raspadskaya.