News and events

6 July 2020

In Kuzbass, at the demonstration trail of Vinogradovsky Open Pit Mine (PJSC KTK), first year observations were made after restoration of the steppe at the mine dumping

In autumn 2019, works relating to the practical implementation of the process flow of the best available technology for restoration of steppe vegetation (State Standard GOST-R 57446-2017) were carried out in Kuzbass. At the mine dump of Vinogradovsky Open Pit Mine, a site of the indigenous feather grass steppe was established, which was named by the technology developers as Scheinfeld (Beautiful Field). KTK has been consistently overseeing this project since 2014 as part of its corporate environmental program implemented in Kuzbass.

A demonstration trail for the development of the new technology for restoration of steppe vegetation on lands disturbed by mining operations was established in 2014 during the cooperation of Kuzbasskaya Toplivnaya Company with the United Nations Development Program and the Global Environment Facility Project with the support of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources. The first stage included creation of experimental sites for testing different versions of the experiment with a grass-seed mixture of meadow and steppe forbs. The second stage involves development of guidelines for the restoration of meadow-steppe vegetation at the mine dumps of coal industry in Kuzbass. At the third stage, an industrial experiment was carried out in accordance with a new process flow for carrying out work using equipment, which included preparing the surface of the rock dump, haymaking of mature cereals and applying the grass-seed mixture to the prepared surface. In autumn 2019, the first mechanized work on the restoration of the feather grass steppe was carried out in Kuzbass over the area of 3 hectares. The seed donor is the Bachatsky Sopki Botanical Reserve located in Belovo District.

The purpose of the works is to create an offset, or natural equivalent, in the disturbed territory, where the original vegetation cover was destroyed during agricultural production and coal mining. The company’s environmental standard provides for the restoration of biological diversity on disturbed lands, thereby increasing the area occupied by natural plant community from the original one.

“Long-term cooperation with Kuzbasskaya Toplivnaya Company has made it possible to implement practices tin Kuzbass to reduce the negative impact on biological diversity in accordance with the “prevention reduction, restoration, compensation” international principle”, says Yuri Manakov, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Head of the Laboratory of Federal Research Center of Coal and Coal Chemistry Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The company was one of the first in Russia to develop an environmental policy and action plan for the conservation of biodiversity of the Karakan Range and the restoration of ecosystems on disturbed lands after coal mining. Such practice of coal miners is not only best for the Kuzbass, but is also one of the world's best practices.

To implement large-scale plans for restoration of the original vegetation cover, the technology must be fully mechanized. Therefore, the first industrial experiment on the Scheinfeld field was carried out with the use of tractor-drawn IR-1.8 bale shredder. At the same time, the slopes of the southern and western exposures, that are the most environmentally unfavorable, were chosen for landscaping. In addition, the area was treated with peat humates - development of scientists of the Tomsk Polytechnic University  - which have a high content of nutrients.

“Modern requirements for mining operations include not only economic efficiency, but also environmental feasibility. Biodiversity is becoming an important part of the company's environmental policy in the region and requires brand new approaches to production. It is necessary to leave “an unrecognizable territory” after mining, so that no one could guess that there was once a quarry in this place. Disturbed land must be cured, restored, reclaimed and handed over to our descendants”, Igor Mikheev, Technical Director of PJSC KTK, commented on the results of the experiment.

Media contacts:

Elena Sarycheva
Head of Strategic Communications