Yakutia Launches Russia’s Largest Mine

The Neryungrinsky District in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) has held an inauguration of the first stage of the Inaglinskaya mine — the largest coal mine in Russia.

Arguably, this is the most ambitious project in the national coal industry over the last decades — no construction projects of this scale have been implemented since the Soviet times. The reserves of the Inaglinsky mining and processing complex amount to 764 mln tonnes including 720 mln tonnes intended for underground mining and 44 mln tonnes — for opencast mining. Coal in South Yakutia stands out for an extremely low methane content, which improves mining safety significantly.

“Neryungri is among the key economic drivers in our republic. Obviously, growth should come together with improvements in the municipal transport and social infrastructure, in particular, due to commissioning of Russia’s major coal mining facilities — the Inaglinskaya-2 processing factory and Inaglinskaya mine”, said Aysen Nikolaev, Head of Yakutia.

Power-generating coal produced in the region is supplied to power plants in South Yakutia and the Primorye Territory, as well as to housing and public utility facilities and industrial enterprises operating in the republic. They are processed by factories located in the Kemerovo Region for use at coking plants and steelworks. In addition, Yakutia’s high-quality coking coal enjoys high demand from China’s and Japan’s major steel manufacturers.

Combined with the Inaglinskaya-2 processing factory and coal sea terminal in the Khabarovsk Territory, the mine forms an integrated production and logistics complex of extraction, processing, shipment, and transhipment of minerals for exports to the Asia-Pacific countries. This is in line with the government’s ambition to raise the share of Russian coal exports.

The project of the mining and processing factory and mine in the South Yakutia Advanced Special Economic Zone has been implemented with financial support of the Far East and Arctic Region Development Fund. The Fund has invested four billion roubles at the start-up stage, which made it possible for the ASEZ anchor resident to raise additional financing from banks.

Inaglinskaya will produce up to 12 million tonnes of coal per year. The estimated life of the mine is 30 years. This is Russia’s second facility using board-and-pillar mining.

“Due to implementation of the project, the mining and processing complex will create 4,045 new jobs”, said Valery Tsivilev, CEO of the coal producer.

Currently, the mine employs 645 miners; after the second stage is completed, the total headcount will reach 1,900. Inaglinskaya-2 factory has over 200 employees. The planned headcount for the first stage is 470 employees. It is supposed to be increased up to 806 in the future.