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Mining Industry

BC is one of the leading coal producers in Canada.  The available coal resources, including surface and shallow mining, are estimated at 20 billion tonnes.  In 2008 BC exported over 24 million tonnes of Coal to international markets in Japan, Asia, and Europe.  The following graph depicts the value and production of Coal in British Columbia from 1980 to the first quarter of 2008.

Coal Production
Click to Enlarge (link opens in new window)
Source: British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines Statistics

The Peace River coal fields, found to the west and south of Tumbler Ridge, has an in-place minerable resources of over one billion tonnes of mostly medium-volatile bituminous coal.  This major coal field follows the northwest trending belt of Jura-Cretaceous rocks that follows the Rocky Mountain foothills in the eastern part of British Columbia, the Peace River is part of the Intermontane belt.  Coal accounts for $2 billion of the Peace Regions $6.6 billion GDP.  There are 10 coal mining projects in the South Peace region that are either in operation or still proposed:

Brule Mine

Website:  www.walterenergy.com (link opens in new window)

  • Proponent- Western Coal Corp.
  • Status- Operational
  • Mine life- 10+ years
  • Coal- ultra-low violate pulverized coal injection (ULV-PCI)
  • Type- open pit
  • Location- 30km south of Chetwynd

The successor to the Dillon Mine, Brule mine started production in 2007. This mine produces 1.3 million tonnes of coal a year used for export mainly to Korea.  Given current market conditions Western Coal is considering fully developing this property, which could raise production to 2 million tonnes a year.

Central South (proposed)

Website:  www.firstcoal.com (link opens in new window)

  • Proponent- First Coal Corp.
  • Status- advanced exploration
  • Mine life- 10-15 years
  • Type- open pit
  • Location- 50km west of Chetwynd

First Coal is currently extracting 50,000 tonnes of coal from this 2km wide, 10km long coal seam.  Testing of this coal will determine the mining method and the coal type for customers.

Herman (proposed)

Website:  www.westerncoal.com (link opens in new window)

  • Proponent- Western Coal Corp.
  • Status- permitting or environmental assessment
  • Mine life- 20 years
  • Coal-
  • Type- open pit
  • Location- 20km south of Tumbler Ridge

The Herman mine is part of the Wolverine group of coal properties.  It will provide additional feed to the Wolverine coal preparation plant. 

Horizon (porposed)

Website:  www.peacerivercoal.com (link opens in new window)

  • Proponent- Peace River Coal Partnership
  • Status- permitting or environmental assessment
  • Mine Life- 15 years
  • Coal-
  • Type- underground
  • Location- 25km south of Tumbler Ridge

Horizon is excepted to produce 2 million tonnes of coal a year and could employ up to 400 people.

Roman Mountain Project (proposed)

Website:  www.peacerivercoal.com (link opens in new window)

  • Proponent- Peace River Coal Partnership
  • Status- advanced exploration
  • Mine Life- 10 years
  • Coal-
  • Type- open pit
  • Location- 25km south of Tumbler Ridge

The Roman Mountain mine is projected to produce 3 million tonnes of coal per year and will try and integrate with the Trend mine as much as possible.

Trend Mine

Website:  www.peacerivercoal.com (link opens in new window)

  • Proponent- Peace River Coal Partnership
  • Status- operational
  • Mine life- 10 years
  • Coal-
  • Type- open pit
  • Location- 25km south of Tumbler Ridge

The Trend Mine began production in December of 2005 and produces 2 million tonnes of coal a year.  The Trend Mine property has an estimated 21 million tonnes of coal. 

Willow Creek

Website:  www.walterenergy.com (link opens in new window)

  • Proponent- Western Coal Corp.
  • Status- operational
  • Mine Life-
  • Coal- low violate pulverized coal injection and hard coking coal
  • Type- open pit
  • Location- 45km west of Chetwynd

Willow Creek Mine has the potential to produce 1.5 million tonnes of coal a year.

Wolverine-Perry Creek

Website:  www.walterenegy.com (link opens in new window)

  • Proponent- Western Coal Corp.
  • Status- operational
  • Mine Life-
  • Coal-
  • Type- open pit
  • Location- 25km west of Tumbler Ridge

Wolverine-Perry Creek Mine started operating in 2006 and produces 3 million tonnes a year. The total estimated coal resource at the Wolverine-Perry creek property is 32.5 million tonnes.