EastCoal leases a land area totaling 23.73 Ha on which the main mine and process facilities, rail and road infrastructure and waste storage areas are located. The site leased for the VNP mine access and surface facilities occupies a slightly elevated position approximately 1.5 kilometers north-west of the main Verticalnaya Mine site.
The shaft mine industrial surface covers some 10.4 Ha including 3.0 Ha of approach roads. Located in a rural area it has electrical power supply, mains water, mains sewage, and good access roads already established.
The VNP mine and surface facilities are easily accessible by road from the main Verticalnaya site and located nearby is a rail line with facilities for wagon loading. A new 6 kV power supply has been installed from the main Verticalnaya mine surface sub-station to the VNP site.
The Verticalnaya Mine has two shafts. The materials shaft was installed and has been operational for the transportation of men and material since 1975. The sinking of the second shaft was completed just prior to the mine closure in 1998 and was not fully equipped or commissioned.
2.3.4 Mine History
Mining operations began initially during 1912 when coal was accessed from its outcrop point on the surface via inclined drifts locally known as "number 10 mine". In 1975, mainly for ventilation purposes, a vertical shaft was sunk down to the then lower workings at the -600 meters horizon, approximately 845 meters below surface. This shaft was then used for the transportation of men and materials. Also installed within the same shaft is a second winding facility designed to wind out waste rock from development drivage.
Several phases of exploration drilling have been completed by the ministry since 1930, the most extensive phase being during the 1970s when over 200 cored boreholes were drilled in the area of the Verticalnaya and adjacent mines.
As the mine working progressed even deeper to -1,000 meters level, approximately 1,245 meters below surface, the government provided capital investment for the sinking of a second shaft for improved ventilation and also to be utilized for the winding of material (Skip shaft). The main objective of the new shaft was to replace the long string of conveyor belts installed along the length of the existing inclined drifts.
In 1998, due to a lack of the investment required to complete the new infrastructure and maintain the mine's equipment, the managers of the Verticalnaya mine were unable to achieve the mine's coal output target. The Verticalnaya mine was considered unprofitable and closed and passed to the UDKR. UDKR is responsible for the liquidation of closed mines and the management of those mines on a care and maintenance basis to enable them to act as water pumping stations to protect adjacent operating mines from increased water inflows from the closed mines.
EastCoal has leased the Verticalnaya mine until 26 may 2029 from the State Property fund. During the period when the mine was operational, no coal was mined in the areas of the H11B and H10B seams. The H8 seam was mined until the closure of the mine in 1998.
2.3.5 Resources and Reserves
The independent estimate of measured resources and Indicated resources contained in the Verticalnaya CPR carried out by IMC Group indicates that Verticalnaya has 5.6Mt of Proved reserves and 21.3Mt of Probable reserves. The coal in Seam H8 can only be reported as Probable reserves as the mine plan is dependent upon the pumping out of the mine water currently preventing access to the virgin areas of the coal seam.
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