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Mongolian coal bound for Russia

World Coal,

Aspire Mining ltd has announced the receipt of two non-binding Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) from large Russian metallurgical coal end users for the potential purchase of metallurgical coal produced from Aspire’s Ovoot Metallurgical coal project in Mongolia.

The MOUs cover an initial commitment to potentially purchase up to 1.3 million tpa of metallurgical coal over a period of five years. Non-Binding sales memoranda for Ovoot coal now total almost 7 million tpa, according to Aspire. The interest from other Russian and eastern European metallurgical coal consumers indicates that coal from the Ovoot project has a significant customer base in the blast and foundry steel making industries outside of China.

The MOUs follow recent negotiations between Mongolia, Russia and China to fund and construct upgrades to road, rail and pipeline infrastructure within Mongolia, thereby creating a significant transit corridor between Russia and China. The transit corridor would  allow the transport of  100 million tpa of coal.

Russia a key market

Aspire said that Russia was “a key market” for Ovoot coal, given its proximity and relatively lower transfer and logistics costs in delivering coal to markets.

Ovoot coal’s blending properties complement many coals from Russia’s aging Kuzbass Basin where fluidity and caking properties are declining due to the increasing depth of mining. Russia classifies Ovoot coal as fat coking coal (KZh), which is currently in high demand for coke plants.

Aspire also announced that it had secured a non-binding MOU to secure up to 2 million tpa rail and port capacity through the Russian far east coast.

Aspire’s managing director, David Paull, said “We are pleased that we have been able to now generate buying interest in Russia which has a significant steel making industry and where Ovoot project coking coal compliments product offerings from established Russian coal miners. We have also been successful at expanding rail and port capacity through Russia to other markets.”

Adapted from press release by Sam Dodson

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