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February 24th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 8
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Feasibility study underway for a new mine in Elk Valley
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Herald archive photo
Chunks of raw coal.
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
A private Australian company is looking to develop a metallurgical coal mine in the Elk Valley.

CanAus, a Canadian subsidiary of Brisbane, Australia based CoalMont, is in the process of assembling a feasibility study to develop the Michel Creek Coking Coal Project – Loop Ridge Mine about 15 kilometres southeast of Sparwood.

In a presentation to council on Feb. 16, John Pumphrey, Chief Operating Officer (COO) for CanAus Coal, said that at maximum production, the Loop Ridge Mine would yield about 3 million tonnes of metallurgical coal per year over a ten year mine life. The mine’s footprint would be about 1000 hectares.

Pumphrey said an environmental assessment would be submitted in 2017 or 2018 with mine startup scheduled from 2020 to 2022. CanAus submitted a project description late last year.

The mine would employ about 300 people. Construction and startup would temporarily employ about 500 people.

The Michel Creek Coking Coal Project covers about 5000 hectares in B.C. with the coal licenses of Loop Ridge, Tent Mountain and Michel Head forming the core of the project.
continued below ...
Pumphrey said Michel Creek was conceived when metallurgical coal was selling for about US$200 per tonne but that the plummeting price of metallurgical coal, which dipped to a low of US$80 per tonne last year, have actually helped the project.

“We were fortunate to some degree that there was a slowdown,” he said. “It’s allowed us to access resources that probably would have been tough to get five years ago.”

Pumphrey had robust expectations for the project.

“Our team and investors are optimistic,” he said. “Everything turns around, there’s a cycle to every commodity.”

As reported in The Wall Street Journal, an Australia-based private equity firm Pacific Road Capital Management invested US$10.2 million into CoalMont to develop metallurgical deposits in Canada in 2013.Pacific Road has about a 35 per cent stake in CoalMont’s Canadian metallurgical coal projects.
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February 24th ~ Vol. 85 No. 8
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