March 18th, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 11
Crown Mountain mine
could open in Elk Valley
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Pass Herald Reporter
A junior mining company is proceeding with an environmental assessment for a new mine in the Elk Valley.
At a council meeting on March 10, Art Palm, executive director of NWP Coal Canada Ltd., said the Crown Mountain Coking Coal Project could go into production in the next couple of years.
The open pit mine would be located between Teck Resources Ltd.’s Elkview and Line Creek operations in B.C.
A pre-feasibility study based on 2013 drilling and explorations done by Crowsnest Industries in 1969 and Shell Mining in 1979 was completed in August 2014, and determined the project has high potential. The project has just entered the environmental assessment process.
The proposed mine is divided into three areas - a north block, a south block and an unproven southern extension.
Palm said they have identified 99 million tonnes of resources but that figure falls to 55 million tonnes without the southern extension.
“We have 90 per cent of our reserves in the proven category so we understand pretty well what we have there,” he said.
It would cost $339 million to build the project. The operating cost would be about $100 per tonne, which means the mine would be profitable at the current price of metallurgical coal, which is hovering around $118 per tonne.
“We wouldn’t raise the money to build the mine today,” said Palm. “We’d wait until the coking coal market comes back. We haven’t found any soothsayers out there yet that can tell us when that may happen.”
NWP acquired the site in late 2013 from Tembec Enterprises Inc.
They have permission to do evaluations on whether the sites are suitable but it does not have permission to begin construction.
Crown Mountain would employ 250 to 300 people over a 17 to 25 year mine life, depending on whether the southern extension proves feasible. It would produce about 1.7 million tonnes per year.
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To enter production, the mine would need a three kilometre conveyor belt, an eight kilometre haul road, a three kilometre rail loop and a storage silo capable of storing 16,000 tonnes of coal.

Environmental assessment
Construction could begin as early as 2016 but Palm said he does not expect the company to meet that deadline because of environmental and market concerns.
“I think the complications that will come about with selenium and the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan are going to require significantly more work,” he said. “We know we have the same potential for metal leaching that Teck does in particular selenium, cadmium and calcite.”
Since 2012, surface water quality samples have been taken from 12 stations. NWP has also installed a number of water flow monitoring sites and ground water monitoring sites. A preliminary fisheries analysis was completed in 2013 and found the nearby Alexander and Grave Creeks are fish bearing.
Native species include the endangered westslope cutthroat trout, bull trout, mountain whitefish and longnose sucker.
The area is also home to bighorn sheep, mountain goats, grizzly bears, lynx, wolverines and other species.
NWP has been meeting with the Ktunaxa Native Council since 2011.

Jameson Resources, an Australian company
NWP is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jameson Resources, a junior mining company based in Perth, Australia that has an office in Vancouver. Palm said 98 per cent of their shareholders are Australian.
“Is your company going to get to the point where [the project is] all permitted and then you hope Teck or somebody else buys you?” asked Councillor Bill Kovach.
“You know how junior mining companies work”, replied Palm. “We’re like bird dogs, we go find something and then somebody bigger comes and ultimately builds it in most cases [but] nothing’s off the table for us right now.”
Jameson Resources is traded on the Australian stock exchange.
March 18th ~ Vol. 85 No. 11
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