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Positive outlook on proposed longwall coal mine in British Columbia

Published by
World Coal,

The Murray River coal project, located in northeast British Columbia and 12 km south of Tumbler Ridge, is the first proposed longwall coal mine in British Columbia and would be the first operating underground longwall mining operation in Canada.

Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, has stated that the project could potentially generate billions in economic benefits.

Bennett stated: “The Murray coal project shows that this government’s policies are working to attract global investment in British Columbia’s mining sector. Through our trade missions in China, India and other jurisdictions, we continue to build our economic portfolio and create jobs and opportunities for British Columbians now and in the future. I think it’s also important to recognise that this mine, the first underground long-wall coal mine in B.C., will provide access to a huge quantity of high-quality, steelmaking coal, while having a much lower impact on our environment.”

Peace River South MLA, Mike Bernier, said: “This is very positive news for this region, particularly for residents of Tumbler Ridge. Those of us living in this area know Tumbler Ridge sits on some of the best metallurgical coal in the world and this project has the potential to once again make this community one of the busiest mining towns in the province.”

Recently, the Province issued an environmental assessment certificate to HD Mining International Ltd. for the project, which included a review process that incorporated input from Aboriginal groups, government agencies and the public on the potential for environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects from the project.

It is reported that input from Aboriginal groups during the environmental assessment of the Murray River coal project influenced both the design of the project and the legally binding conditions that form part of the environmental assessment certificate.

HD Mining International Ltd. (owner of the mine) has projected cost for the project to be approximately $688 million with a 25 yr operational life that creates a potential 680 jobs. Once in operation, the mine is expected to produce 4.8 million tpy of clean coal, as well as contributing $1 billion in total tax revenues to the province.

After the necessary permits and approvals are received, HD Mining intends to commence construction.

Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs

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