Russian firm Mechel has launched a new long wall face at its Southern Kuzbass coal mining subsidiary's Olzherasskaya-Novaya Mine.
The new long wall face No 21-1-9 has coal reserves of 3.4 million tonnes, with work on the face would to be carried out for a two-year period.
According to the Mechel, miners at the face use a special sub-level caving method, which enables thick seam mining in one coal layer of up to 10m.
This helps in extracting maximum volumes of coal and reducing the risk of breeding fire.
Mechel Mining Management Company CEO Pavel Shtark said: "The launch of the new long wall face will significantly boost Olzherasskaya-Novaya Mine's capacity and increase our coking coal output.
"In 2016, we expect the mine to produce approximately two million tonnes of raw coal."
Formed in 1993, the Southern Kuzbass Coal Company produces coking and steam coals, and consists of various enterprises.
Total coal reserves of the mines and open-pits at Kuzbass are estimated to be more than 1.7 billion tonnes.
So far, Kuzbass mines around 280 million tones of coal and its produce is in demand in Russia and internationally.
Image: Mining activities at Russian mining company Mechel. Photo: © OAO «Mechel».