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Vorkutaugol produced 12.2 million tonnes of raw coal last year.

The output will rise thanks to the opening of 11 new coal-faces across all five of the unit’s mines, Severstal said. Nine of the faces will be commissioned in the first half of 2014.

The Vorkutinskaya mine’s sales of coking coal concentrate in the first quarter of 2014 dropped by 11% year-on-year to 1.19 million tonnes.

“While geological challenges […] have significantly affected Vorkutaugol’s production in the first quarter, we are confident that in May and June the situation will stabilise and the company will progress according to plan,” production director Alexander Vovk said.

Another Russian coking coal producer, Raspadskaya, which is 82%-controlled by steelmaker Evraz, opened up a new coalface with reserves of 1.5 million tonnes at its mine in Western Siberia in March.

This was one of four faces Raspadskaya plans to commission at the mine this year to boost production by 40% year-on-year.

Raspadskaya’s raw coal output last year stood at 7.82 million tonnes.