New coal mine project proposed near Sparwood

CoalMont, a Canadian subsidiary of CanAus Coal Limited has submitted a Project Description coal operation 15 km southeast of Sparwood.

CoalMont, a Canadian subsidiary of CanAus Coal Limited has submitted a Project Description to develop a stand-alone, coking coal operation 15 km southeast of Sparwood. The Project area covers approximately 5,000 hectares or 500,000 acres. It sits between Teck’s Elkview and Coal Mountain mining operations. The Michel Creek Coking Coal Project is comprised of the companies coal licenses for Loop Ridge, Tent Mountain and Michel Head.

According to a presentation provided by John Pumphrey, Chief Operating Officer (COO) for CanAus Coal Limited, the mine will produce around two million tonnes of raw coal with the potential for more.

“Annual production is estimated at 3.3 million tonnes of raw coal (2 million tonnes clean), with potential to increase clean coal output up to 3 million tonnes,” Pumphery said, citing the presentation that was made on Dec. 8.

The mine will be an open pit layout with a minimum pit life expectancy of a decade.

“The existing Loop Ridge Mine proposal has a potential for a pit life of approximately 10 years, however with the future addition of surrounding coal deposits, the life of the mine is beyond 20 years,” said Pumphrey.

According to Pumphrey, the location is ideal for a mine. The area is adjacent to existing rail, road and power infrastructure. This means the company does not have to build roads, rail track or bring power to the mine site, saving them money.

CanAus has been researching and working towards mining the land since 2013.

“In  2013 CanAus focused on exploration drilling, environmental data collection, consultation and resource development. In 2014, a national instrument for the Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects within Canada  (NI43-101) was completed. In 2014 Environmental Assessment teams were formed, and have ongoing work,” said Pumphrey. “In 2015 a pre-feasibility study for the Michel Creek Coking Coal Project was finished. In 2015, the BC Environmental Assessment Office issued an environmental assessment order for Loop Ridge Mine and is formally started. In 2015, CanAus acquired an option to purchase the land Jemi Fiber Corporation had in the Michel Creek Valley.”

CanAus believes that they can strike equilibrium between sustainable practices and economics.

“Through innovation and ‘design by consultation’, we believe that coal mining is achievable in a way that achieves a sustainable balance with project economics,” said Pumphrey.

CanAus is looking to achieve this goal by creating teams with a focus on innovation and sustainability, public consultation, eliminating tailing ponds and traditional coal dryers.