Western Canadian Coal Provides Operations Updateadmin
Western Canadian Coal Corp. announces that mining at the Willow Creek Mine has commenced as planned. Commercial production of low-volatile PCI coal should be available for sale early in 2009.
Coal markets continue to be strong, with all hard coking coal production from the Wolverine operations currently sold at approximately US$ 300 per tonne and all low-volatile PCI coal at the Brule operation sold at approximately US$ 248 per tonne. These coal prices are locked in to March 31, 2009. Further evidence of the strong coal markets are the recent 2009 calendar year coking coal contract settlements by the US metallurgical coal producers at prices similar to what other global producers have experienced for the 2008 coal year.
The Company also advises that production for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009 is now expected to be 3.0 million tonnes consisting of 1.45 million tonnes of hard coking coal and 0.15 million mid-volatile PCI coal from the Wolverine operation and 1.3 million tonnes of low-volatile PCI coal at the Brule operation and 0.1 million tonnes of low-volatile PCI coal at the Willow Creek mine. The temporary lower than expected production at Wolverine is primarily due to production difficulties from continued labour shortages and continued high stripping ratio.
The Company also announces the review of various strategic alternatives (“Strategic Review”) continues, although there is no assurance that the Strategic Review will result in any specific strategic or financial transaction.
John Hogg, President and CEO, comments, “With the strength of the coal markets, along with the 15% weakening of the Canadian dollar, the Company is generating strong cash flows and will continue to build on its strong financial position.”