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2 New Coal Mine Proposals Under Review in British Columbia - Report

Coal News - Published on Fri, 19 Jul 2019

Image Source: reported that continued strong global demand for steelmaking coal, especially in China and India, may be behind two new coal mine proposals in Canada’s British Columbia province. Conuma Coal Resources Ltd recently filed an application with the BC Environmental Assessment Office to expand its current operations in the Chetwynd-Tumbler Ridge area, and Australian coal miner Allegiance Coal Ltd is now in the early stages of an environmental assessment for a new mine near Smithers, in north west BC. Exports of met coal from BC hit USD 5.6 billion in 2018, according to BC Stats, surpassing the value in 2011, when coal exports peaked at USD 5.4 billion.

Following a steelmaking coal price crash between 2015 and 2016, the value of coal exports from BC dropped by more than half, from USD 7 billion in 2011, when met coal prices reached close to USD 300 per tonne, to USD 3 billion in 2015. Current met coal prices are around USD 190 per tonne, which may explain why companies are now pushing forward expansions and greenfield projects.

Mr Tony Knutson, Wood Mackenzie coal analyst, said that “The market can definitely absorb the production of the mines. We need new projects going forward. There has been a lack of investment.”

However, Conuma is the US company that rescued three idled met coal mines in 2015 when it acquired them from Walter Energy, which went bankrupt following the coal price crash.

One by one, Conuma reopened all three former Walter Energy mines, which now employ close to 1,000 workers. The company now plans to develop a fourth mine, called the Hermann project, as a satellite to its Wolverine mine. Last week, Conuma applied to the EAO for permission for the new pit, located 26 kilometres from the Wolverine operation.

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Posted By : Sanju Moirangthem on Fri, 19 Jul 2019
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