NERYUNGRI, Russia, Oct. 1, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mechel OAO (NYSE:MTL) , one of the leading Russian mining and metals companies, announces the commissioning of a seasonal washing plant and production of the first volumes of concentrate of coking coal mined at the Elga deposit. After the commissioning of the full processing cycle at the washing plant first volumes of the coking coal concentrate were produced. The launch of the washing plant at Elga became possible due to hard work which required a number of complex solutions aimed at dealing with logistical and construction challenges. The newly built washing plant fully complies with best international standards – technological process is fully computerized and is managed out of the central console, allowing for control of all processing systems in a real-time mode. The plant's processing capacity is up to 3 million tonnes per annum. The CAPEX is approx. 2 billion rubles (about $ 64.7 mn*). "The launch of seasonal washing plant has become an important milestone in the implementation of the project of unique significance – the development of the Elga coal deposit, one of the largest coking coal deposits in the world. Following the completion of railway connecting the deposit with Baikal-Amur Mainline the launch of washing facilities allows to mine and process coal at Elga open-pit on production scale and start receiving benefits from vast investment in the project development," said Igor Zyuzin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mechel OAO. * Based upon the Russian Central Bank exchange rate of 30.92 RUR/$ as of September 29, 2012. Mechel is one of the leading Russian companies. Its business includes four segments: mining, steel, ferroalloy and power. Mechel unites producers of coal, iron ore concentrate, nickel, ferrochrome, ferrosilicon, steel, rolled products, hardware, heat and electric power. Mechel products are marketed domestically and internationally.