By utilizing a conveyor belt for coal clearance, the equipping of the skip shaft for the winding of men and materials from the lower 1,245 meter horizon can be delayed until revenues are being generated.
One of the first operations at the Verticalnaya Mine will be to pump out the water from the flooded area and examine the roadways of the previously developed area of the H8 seam. It is calculated that this activity will take approximately one year to establish an efficient mine water pumping system and pump out the water. To date some 120 meters of flooded roadway have been recovered, showing little or no signs of deterioration associated with being submersed under water for a long period of time. Therefore, it is anticipated that the roadway conditions will not have deteriorated significantly and the repair of the main materials and conveyor drifts will not be significant.
The original conveyor roadway above the water line, from -845 to -137 meters horizons, will be recovered and repaired during the same one year period that water pumping is undertaken. New permanent conveyor belts and associated equipment will be installed as repairs progresses.
Having recovered and re-instated the conveyor belts and materials system down to the Coal reserves below the 1,250 meters horizon, development of the Coal reserves below that point can commence.
Two main lateral drivages, conveyor and materials, will be driven into the new reserve block and longwall panels developed on each side. The overall plan is to operate two longwalls simultaneously in the H8 seam to generate a continuous rom production of 1.7mtpa.
2.3.8 Environment, Health and Safety
From the outset, EastCoal has set out to introduce safety procedures across its operations that are in line with best global industry practice. International safety consultants have visited EastCoal's operations in Ukraine and their recommendations are being implemented. The Company's focus on ensuring high safety standards are adhered to across its Ukraine operations and is being received favorably by its workforce.
The Company has all environmental documentation that is required for it to operate the Verticalnaya mine and an environmental management committee has been established by the Company for the routine management of environmental operating issues, permitting and licensing.
The estimated mass emissions to air of dust and combustion gases are relatively small. The Verticalnaya mine's anthracite is non-gassy, with low explosive risk. The mitigation measures proposed, together with establishment of sanitary protection zones, are designed so that ambient Ukrainian air quality standards are complied with.
The systems proposed to minimize the impact of mine and waste water discharge are appropriate and consistent with international best practice. According to the EIA the surface waters in the Donbass region are already influenced by discharges from communities, mining and other industries and any further impact from the Verticalnaya mine is not likely to be significant.
Waste rock from the mine and tailings from the coal preparation plant will be stored on a site already used for dumping low hazard mine waste. This is good practice and avoids the need to use and disturb greenfield areas.
The social impact is assessed as positive on the basis of providing direct employment for approximately 1,200 people from the local communities, in addition to the related economic benefits for the region.
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