updated 9/21/2010 9:45:59 AM ET 2010-09-21T13:45:59

TIANJIN, China, Sept. 21, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mechel OAO (NYSE:MTL), one of the leading Russian mining and metals companies, announces it has signed a Protocol of Intent with China National Coal Group.

On September, 21 the Protocol of Intent was signed between Mechel OAO and China National Coal Group – the second largest coal producer in China. The Protocol was signed within the framework of the regular round of Sino-Russian energy negotiators' meetings which was headed by Mr. Igor Sechin, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, on the one hand, and Mr. Wang Qishan, Vice Premier of China, on the other hand.

The Protocol of Intent was signed by Mr. Igor Zyuzin, Chairman of Mechel's Board of Directors, on behalf of Mechel OAO and Mr. Wang An, Chairman of China National Coal Group, on behalf of China National Coal Group.

China National Coal Group's core businesses include coal production and trading as well as coke and coal-chemical products, coal mining equipment manufacturing, power generation, coal mine construction, and relevant engineering technical services. China National Coal is the world's largest and leading underground coal mining equipment manufacturer.

The Protocol was signed in order to establish mutual strategic partnership between the companies.

Mechel OAO has long-standing and stable partnership relations with Chinese consumers successfully supplying coals of various grades, iron-ore concentrate and ferroalloys. Strong relations are established with the main Chinese associations in the sphere of metallurgy and coke chemistry. Since March 2010 Mechel's official representative office operates in Beijing.

Mechel is one of the leading Russian companies. Its business includes four segments: mining, steel, ferroalloy and power. Mechel unites producers of coal, iron ore concentrate, nickel, steel, ferrochrome, ferrosilicon, rolled products, hardware, heat and electric power. Mechel products are marketed domestically and internationally.

Some of the information in this press release may contain projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events or the future financial performance of Mechel, as defined in the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We wish to caution you that these statements are only predictions and that actual events or results may differ materially. We do not intend to update these statements. We refer you to the documents Mechel files from time to time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Form 20-F. These documents contain and identify important factors, including those contained in the section captioned "Risk Factors" and "Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" in our Form 20-F, that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those contained in our projections or forward-looking statements, including, among others, the achievement of anticipated levels of profitability, growth, cost and synergy of our recent acquisitions, the impact of competitive pricing, the ability to obtain necessary regulatory approvals and licenses, the impact of developments in the Russian economic, political and legal environment, volatility in stock markets or in the price of our shares or ADRs, financial risk management and the impact of general business and global economic conditions.

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