January 29th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 4
Coal may once again be ‘king’ in Pass
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Photo courtesy of Riversdale Resources
Exploration taking place north of Blairmore.
Pass Herald Staff
Anthony Martin, CFO for Riversdale Resources, flew into Canada from Australia to meet with Council at the Tuesday, January 21st meeting.

Also meeting with the group was Peter Murray, Operations Manager; Laureen Whyte, Aboriginal Relations and Morgan Tanner, Community Relations.

Riversdale Resources Limited, established in 2011, is an unlisted Australian public company headquartered in Sydney, Australia.

Riversdale specializes in the development of metallurgical coal deposits, with a focus on sustainable development. The company also has a small exploration project in Alaska, but has focused their main project here in the Crowsnest Pass.

According to their project overview: “The Grassy Mountain Project, located in the Crowsnest Pass, is currently undertaking a core drilling program to obtain coal samples to understand the quality and the viability of the coal. If the results of ongoing technical studies and permit applications are favourable, Riversdale will proceed with mine development based on an open-cut mine design, initially targeting 2.2 million tonnes per year of predominantly metallurgical, or coking coal, over a 28 year mine life. Riversdale is confident that post initial development, given the nature of the resources at Grassy Mountain, production could increase to 4.0+ million tonnes per year”.

The current exploration program at Grassy Mountain began on December 12, 2013 and is expected to continue until the spring of 2014. This program consists of drilling, delineating the resources and also testing coal quality and initial environmental baseline and management studies. Depending on the results, work over the next 12-18 months may include further coal quality drilling, geotechnical drilling, core sampling and other ground and desktop based activities to facilitate the completion of a full Feasibility Student in the projects development.

According to Martin, “The coal is being sent for testing, and the initial results are very good. So far everything indicates that it is very, very promising and very exciting. We are excited to be here and see what will be done in the future”.

Regarding access onto and around the site, Riversdale is implementing an Access Management Plan. Signs have been placed along the Grassy Mountain Road indicating where exploration activities are taking place, and a safety officer is monitoring the area to advise the public of the location of exploration activities. Local recreational groups are being informed about the locations and timing of work activities. Martin noted, “We have no current intention to restrict Grassy Mountain road. We want to inform users that there is heavy equipment in the area and to just be aware”.

The conversation shifted to the impact the future mine may have on the community.

According to Murray, “Modern mines don’t employ a lot of people. Best guess is that the commercial production will take place in 2018. There will be 12-18 months of construction”. During the construction stage as many as 400 people could be employed, however, once production starts around 150 people could potentially be employed and could increase dependent on the production rates.

Murray stated, “The project will have a provincial and federal Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) which includes public consultation with stakeholders and First Nations”.

Councillor Kovach stated, “It’s nice to see lights on Grassy Mountain. Are you meeting with MD of Ranchlands?” Martin responded, “Yes, we have been in communications, what we have asked of them is to tell us what information they want and we will give them a quarterly update”.

Councillor Anctil asked, “Is the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan going to affect you?” Martin noted, “The areas don’t directly affect us, we are just out of their boundary. The Coal Association sent a response to the regulator and we are a member of the group. We are of course interested and watching it closely.”

Martin noted that with 30 years plus of life in our mine, there might be a need to open a technical school to train people. “We are not going to try to bite off anything too big. Start at a reasonable level. Not an easy job to get money in the global market in minerals.”

Councillor Lazzarotto asked, “What can we do for you guys?”

Martin replied, “Just be accessible, we are open people. We are not a publically listed group so we are not afraid of giving out information. If you have issues, don’t be shy, tell us. We have thick skin”.

Mayor Painter “We are pleased to know you are willing to use the local businesses as much as possible and this council will be accessible and open to all communication”.

January 29th ~ Vol. 84 No. 4
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