December 2023

Preparations for the Uus-Kiviõli Mine have reached a new stage

Viru Keemia Grupp is preparing to open the Uus-Kiviõli Mine by the end of 2024, with an aboveground inclined shaft and two tunnels completed by now. In the second week of December, renovation work also started on the conveyor belt between the Ojamaa Mine and the Kohtla-Järve production territory, which will in the future be used in transporting the oil shale mined from the Uus- Kiviõli Mine to the oil shale plant.

The planned investment into the Uus-Kiviõli Mine in the coming years is 110 million euros. By now, the works have reached 10 metres underground, as aa result of which an aboveground inclined shaft and two tunnels have been constructed – one for wheeled transport and the other for a conveyor. The tunnelling is planned to continue at the beginning of the next year, reaching the oil shale during September 2024.

Preparation work for constructing the conveyor to connect the Uus-Kiviõli Mine and the Ojamaa Mine will also continue in 2024. By now, the conveyor track has been completed, but the 6-kilometre conveyor will be finally completed in May 2025. As a result of that, the oil shale mined from the Uus-Kiviõli Mine will move directly to the enrichment plant located at the Ojamaa Mine and from there on to the shale oil plants located 12.5 kilometres away. Thus, the length of the conveyor track that connects Uus-Kiviõli and the oil shale plants of Kohtla-Järve will be 18.5 kilometres.

In the second week of December, ContiTech, one of the world’s leading industrial technology companies, started renovation works on the conveyour connecting the Ojamaa Mine and the Kohtla-Järve plants. In the course of the works, the former 25-kilometres conveyor belt which has been used for the past 11 years will be replaced. The replacement of the belt will take 12 working days and is expected to be completed by 20 December.

The new belt consists of 25 one-kilometre pieces which will be vulcanised together, weighing a total of 500 tonnes. It connects the Ojamaa Mine with the oil plants of Kohtla-Järve, offering a unique solution where oil shale is not even taken above the ground, but is transported from the mine to the enrichment plant and from there directly to the plant in about 50 minutes on a closed conveyor.

The Uus-Kiviõli Mine will in 2024 start operating at partial capacity, reaching the maximum production capacity by 2028, when the Ojamaa Mine will be depleted. The Uus-Kiviõli Mine will in the future offer employment to all the 110 people currently working at the Ojamaa Mine, and about 80 new employees will also be recruited.