Recent History – 2001
By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
Progress is being made on opening a small-scale coal mine in the Chetwynd-Tumbler Ridge area.
Barry Girling, a spokesman for Western Coal Corporation said Thursday that a mine capable of extracting 250,000 tonnes of coal per year could be operating on its Burnt River property by the third quarter of 2002.
“We’re fairly far along the curve on it,” Girling said of the processes that Western must go through to get a small mines permit.
“And once you’re in at 250,000 tonnes, it would probably take another year and probably about another $5 million in capital costs to get it up to half-a-million tonnes per year.”
Even on a small scale, Girling said Burnt River looks viable because the coal found there appears to be well suited for pulverized coal injection (PCI) products used in the coal industry.
His comments came after Western announced that a private placement has raised $1,127,500 to help finance further exploration in the area.
Participants in the placement include Deepgreen Minerals Corp. Ltd. of Australia, who purchased 500,000 units and now holds share representing 20.8 per cent of the issued and outstanding shares of the company.
As well, Mitsui Matsushima Co. Ltd. of Japan purchased one million units to hold shares representing 13.1 per cent of the issued and outstanding shares in the company.
“We’re really thrilled to have them on board. They’ve given us a lot of support,” said Girling.
Burnt River is one of three properties under Western’s control in the area, the others being Wolverine and Perry Creek.
Western is delineating the Dillon Syncline on the Burnt River property, a structure that may support significant low-strip ratio tonnage, and will be presenting samples to potential customers.
Currently, two drills are completing definition drill in the EB open pit and the Perry Creek underground areas on the Wolverine property.
Western will be updating the geological models and proceeding with a bankable feasibility study on the Wolverine deposits which is to be completed within six months.
“Drilling is confirming the structure of the coal deposits, and all seams intersected have met or exceeded management’s expectations,” Western said in a news release.
Planned work programs on the Burnt River and West Brazion properties is underway with drilling expected to be completed this month.