Tumbler Ridge coal mine starts up

Tumbler Ridge coal mine starts up

Wednesday, August 2nd 2006

Western Canadian Coal on Monday announced the start-up of its $180-million Wolverine mine in northeastern B.C. and the signing of a long-term port agreement with Ridley Terminals Inc. in Prince Rupert.

“Start-up is proceeding well and the plant is processing hard coking coal,” said Western Coal CEO John Hogg. “Our operations staff and contractors have done a great job of bringing the project into production on time, on budget and with an excellent safety record.”

More than 300 people are working on the mine site, which is near Tumbler Ridge, northeast of Prince George.

The mine is expected to produce 1.35 million tonnes of coal in the 2006-2007 fiscal year, and in excess of 2.5 million tonnes the next year.

The company will be loading the first train of coal next month, followed by the first shipment from Ridley Terminals in September. The agreement with Ridley Terminals is for 10 years, ending in March 2015, and including two five-year potential extension periods.

Western Canadian Coal Corp. is also working on another project in the same area, its proposed $200-million Brule Mine project.

Western Canadian Coal is one of several companies tapping into a surge in world coal demand by taking advantage of already-proven coal resources in northeastern B.C., as well as excess railway and port capacity.

The Tumbler Ridge area has a rich coal mine history.

Three years ago, the Bullmoose coal mine closed, ending two decades of coal mining in the region. Two years before, the larger Quintette Coal Mine closed.

©Copyright 2006 Prince George Citizen

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