Potential minability and economic viability of the Antaramut-Kurtan-Dzoragukh coal field, north-central Armenia; a prefeasibility study

Bulletin 2178




The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a coal resource assessment of several areas in Armenia from 1997 to 1999. This report, which presents a prefeasibility study of the economic and mining potential of one coal deposit found and studied by the USGS team, was prepared using all data available at the time of the study and the results of the USGS exploratory work, including core drilling, trenching, coal quality analyses, and other ongoing field work. On the basis of information currently available, it is the authors? opinion that a small surface coal mine having about a 20-year life span could be developed in the Antaramut-Kurtan-Dzoragukh coal field, specifically at the Dzoragukh site. The mining organization selected or created to establish the mine will need to conduct necessary development drilling and other work to establish the final feasibility study for the mine. The company will need to be entrepreneurial, profit oriented, and sensitive to the coal consumer; have an analytical management staff; and focus on employee training, safety, and protection of the environment. It is anticipated that any interested parties will be required to submit detailed mining plans to the appropriate Armenian Government agencies. Further development work will be required to reach a final decision regarding the economic feasibility of the mine. However, available information indicates that a small, economic surface mine can be developed at this locality. The small mine suggested is a typical surface-outcropstripping, contour mining operation. In addition, auger mining is strongly suggested, because the recovery of these low-cost mining reserves will help to ensure that the operation will be a viable, economic enterprise. (Auger mining is a system in which large-diameter boreholes are placed horizontally into the coal seam at the final highwall set as the economic limit for the surface mining operation). A special horizontal boring machine, which can be imported from Russia, is required for auger mining. Although auger-mining coal reserves do exist, the necessary development work will further verify the extent of these reserves and all of the other indicated reserves. The following items are based on the detailed study reported in this publication. Initial investment.?Following an investment of US $85,000 over a 12-month period in mine development drilling and other activities, a decision must be taken regarding further investment in an ongoing mining operation. If the new data support the opening of the surface mine, __________________________ 1Consultant, 6024 Morning Dew Drive, Austin, TX 78749. 2 U.S. Geological Survey, 956 National Center, Reston, VA 20192 1 2 MINABILITY AND ECONOMIC VIABILITY, ANTARAMUT-KURTAN-DZORAGUKH COAL FIELD the $85,000 development cost is amortized over the first 10 years of mine production. If the new data do not support the opening of the mine, the $85,000 is considered a business development expense that may be written off against profits from other operations for income or other tax purposes or simply as a business loss. Total capital required.?The equipment costs will reach a total of $900,500 which will be amortized over a 7-year period to establish estimated coal mining costs. Estimated working capital costs are $300,000, which will be borrowed. Surface mining reserves.?Approximately 840,200 metric tonnes of surface minable coal reserves at 9.3 m3 of overburden per metric tonne of minable coal is indicated. Recovery of the minable coal at 85 percent will yield 714,000 recoverable metric tonnes of marketable as-mined coal. Auger mining reserves.?Auger-mining reserves of 576,000 metric tonnes are indicated. Recoverable auger-mining reserves of 202,000 metric tonnes (at 35-percent recovery) can be expected. Auger-mining production will vary according to the hole size being used, but, in either case, augering is a very profitable addition to the mining oper

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Potential minability and economic viability of the Antaramut-Kurtan-Dzoragukh coal field, north-central Armenia; a prefeasibility study
Series title:
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey,
34 p.