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October 8th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 39
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Riversdale Resources unveils
rail load out options
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
On Sept. 30, the Crowsnest Pass came one step closer to having a working coal mine as Riversdale Resources revealed three rail load out options for the proposed Grassy Mountain Coal Project.
All three proposed options involve a conveyor belt transporting coal to a train-load out facility on secondary tracks along the railroad near Highway 3.
Two of the options would mean laying a looped track through about nine holes of the Crowsnest Pass Golf and Country Club. The clubhouse could also be affected. Both of these options call for trains traveling under Highway 3.
“We talked to all of the parties we could that would be affected by these options,” said Riversdale Vice President of Technical Services David Leslie at an open house on Sept. 30, “We tried to do it ahead of the open house as wanted them to be the first to know.”
The third option calls for a siding along the existing CP Rail track with a load-out about 2 kilometers west of the Golf and Country Club near Coleman. This option involves running a coal conveyor under Highway 3 west of the Tim Hortons in Blairmore.
Riversdale is proposing a clad in, insulated load out structure about 15 metres high. The overland conveyor would also be closed to reduce dust. All the rolling parts underneath the conveyor would be caged in and the structure would be raised in areas to allow for wildlife crossings, said Leslie.
The conveyor would feed a storage structure, which would be a low rectangular building about two stories high containing an entire trainload of coal. A high-speed conveyor would move coal from the storage structure to the load-out structure at the rate of about 2000 tons per hour, said Leslie.

Crowsnest Pass Golf and Country Club President responds
Riversdale personnel revealed the proposed load-out options to representatives from the Crowsnest Pass Golf and Country Club on Sept. 29.
Golf and Country Club President Rob Amatto said the meeting was scheduled to inform his staff ahead of the general public. He says no final decision has been made and was non-committal over what changes might be made to the golf course.
“It depends which option is taken,” said Amatto. “If it comes to it we’ll have to worry about it, but nothing is written in stone.”
Riversdale community liaison Keith Bott was more forthcoming.
“There would be no need to entirely move the golf course,” said Bott. “We would sit down and talk about where the other holes could be relocated.”

continued below...

Rail siding from Coleman to Blairmore
The load-out options need to accommodate the limitations of rail transport, said Leslie, as the maximum grade for a coal train is one and a half per cent.
To accommodate loading, 5.6 kilometers of siding rail will need to be built along the existing CP track. The siding rail would fit a train with 152 cars and three locomotives and will stretch from West Coleman to the CP Bridge in West Blairmore.
That much siding rail will interfere with access points in the community, including the only rail crossing into Bushtown.
An overpass structure would have to be designed to allow emergency services into Bushtown because a waiting train would block access for up to eight hours, said Bott.
The rail siding would also block Drain Brothers Construction in Blairmore and an overpass would be required for that, possibly built near the Tim Hortons, said Bott.

Coal travels west
A train would come completely off the main line to load. CP would then take the train and then head off west. The whole process would take four to eight hours, said Leslie.
The mine is expected to produce 2 to 4 million tonnes of metallurgical coal per year. Leslie said that at 2 million tonnes, this would mean a train every three days and a train every day and a half at 4 million tonnes.
A train of 152 cars would carry 16 thousand tonnes of product heading to market. A standard aluminum rail car can fit 106 metric tonnes of coal, he said.
Shelly Reid, coal account manager with CP, said the preferred option would be transporting the coal to Westshore Terminals, a large coal loading port south of Vancouver.
The alternative is Ridley Terminals in Prince Rupert, which would mean switching to CN rail because they service that terminal. It would also be a more expensive option because it is a longer route.

Economic benefits
According to a Riversdale release, the construction of the mine would employ an estimated 400 to 500 workers, at the busiest of times.
If it becomes operational, the mine will employ 300 to 400 fulltime workers.
Coal would be mined from three main seams ranging from near surface to 200 to 300 metres below ground level. The largest seam can be 15 to 20 metres in thickness.
Rock and overburden covering the seams would be removed with heavy equipment and then hauled to disposal areas outside the pits and then placed back into the pits once the coal has been removed and space is available. The coal processing plant would be located in the southwest end of the mining area.
Pending regulatory approval, construction on the project could begin in 2017 with the mine becoming operational in 2018.

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October 8th ~ Vol. 84 No. 39
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