Ahmsa's Micare begins production at thermal coal mine

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mexican steelmaker Ahmsa's coal mining arm Minera Carbonífera Río Escondido (Micare) has launched production at its Mina VI underground thermal coal mine in the Nava municipality of Coahuila state, Ahmsa reported.

The company will invest a total of US$105mn in the project, which is expected to churn out 19Mt over nine years. To date, US$55mn has been spent, said Ahmsa (BMV: AHMSA) in a statement to the Mexico City bourse.

Work began two years ago on development of the mine that currently employs 400 people and will eventually provide 700 jobs as it ramps up operations.

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The coal extracted from Mina VI, together with Micare's other underground and open-pit mines, will provide a constant flow of feed for the coal-fueled electric plants José López Portillo and Carbón II, both owned by the federal electricity commission CFE, the statement said.

Ahmsa highlighted the safety equipment installed at the new mine, including digital analyzers to measure interior and exterior methane levels and a system to carry fresh air more than 200m underground.

Micare operates mines solely in Coahuila and is Mexico's largest producer of thermal coal, turning out roughly 7Mt/y.