EastCoal Inc.
TSX VENTURE : ECX

EastCoal Inc.

May 26, 2011 16:27 ET

EastCoal Inc.: Construction Activity at Verticalnaya Mine Project

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 26, 2011) - EastCoal Inc. (TSX VENTURE:ECX) (the "Company" or "EastCoal") is pleased to report that, following the commencement of de-watering the lower levels of the main Verticalnaya shaft mine, it is now rehabilitating some 120 metres of previously flooded roadways. The general condition of these roadways is good, requiring only minor repair in some sections. When the water level has been lowered a further 40 metres and following the re-establishment of a ventilation circuit, access will be obtained to a former conveyor roadway that is planned to be part of a new conveyor drift system. That system will eventually transport coal by high-speed conveyor from the deep H8 seam to surface.

In the shaft bottom area, some 200 metres of roadways have been repaired. This will permit waste materials from construction and repair works to be transported by mine-car to the shaft for hoisting.

At the Verticalnaya North drift mine, supports are being strengthened and the first 50 metres from the portals of each of the two new access drifts is being encased in concrete for improved stability and safety. These drifts will provide early access to the shallower H11 coal seam. The strengthening is a precautionary measure and is in response to evidence of loading of arch supports in the high-wall entry point of the drivages. This work will take approximately 6 weeks in the conveyor drift and 4 weeks in the auxiliary drift. It is now expected that the coal seam will be intersected in July with bulk samples of coal to be mined for analysis during August. This will permit the Company to supply potential customers and financial institutions with firm specifications of the products to be produced from the H11 coal seam.

The Company is also developing plans to mine a bulk sample from the H8 seam, to be carried out whenever dewatering and rehabilitation permits.

The Company expects it can step-up the pace of future development at Verticalnaya North to recover the time being taken to strengthen the drifts there. It expects that the key milestone of establishing the first longwall in the first quarter of 2012 will be met. There is no change in the production tonnages planned for 2012.

Surface works at Verticalnaya North are on plan. These include construction of the main electrical sub-station, settling tanks for mine water, fire-fighting water storage tanks and a pump-house. A modular, natural medium 400 tonnes per hour "barrel washer" plant is being constructed in England under contract, for installation by the first quarter of 2012. This will process the coal to be produced from the H11 seam until a central processing plant, servicing both the H11 and H8 seams is installed in 2014.

By Order of the Board,

John Byrne, President

About EastCoal Inc.

The Company changed its name to EastCoal Inc. in early 2011, to reflect its new strategy of developing coal operations. It is focused on the Donbass coal basin of Ukraine which has large coal reserves and excellent prospects.

EastCoal Inc. is currently developing its 100% owned Verticalnaya anthracite mine.

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Contact Information

  • EastCoal Inc.
    John Byrne
    President
    604-681-8069
    604-685-4675 (FAX)
    www.eastcoal.ca