Fatal explosion at SDS coal mine

The largest catastrophe in the Russian coal mining industry over the past ten years occurred on November 25, 2021, at Listvyazhnaya mine, owned by SDS.

An explosion of a methane-air mixture is considered to be a probable cause of the accident, which killed 52 people (46 miners and 6 rescuers). Also, after the accident, 38 miners and 11 mine rescuers were hospitalized.

The production capacity of the mine is 5.2 mio t of coal per year. Listvyazhnaya accounts for about 18% of the coal production and revenues of SDS holding company, owned by Mikhail Fedyaev, who last year asked for the state aid to refinance the firm’s debts.

The mine accident could affect the operations of other coal companies as well. The Governor of Kuzbass Sergei Tsivilev has already ordered to check all mines in the region for explosion safety. The incident is expected to reduce availability of high-CV coal and boost prices.

The forecasts for a recovery in production at Listvyazhnaya are premature, but the accident can be expected to affect production at the mine in the coming year. It took four years for production to recover at Raspadskaya mine after the accident in 2010, which killed 91 people.

SDS enterprises extracted 20.2 mio t of coal in 2020 (-4.4 mio t or -18% y-o-y). The company includes Chernigovets, Vostochny, Pervomaysky open-pit mines, Yuzhnaya and Listvyazhnaya mines, washing plants and service enterprises.

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