By Joni MacFarlane
Editor, Crowsnest Pass Promoter
A second coal mining company has expressed interest in coal deposits near Crowsnest Pass and expects to start testing this fall.
Altitude Resources announced last week that it has signed an exploration and option agreement with Elan Coal Ltd., a privately owned Canadian coal exploration and development company.
The agreement gives Altitude the option to acquire up to 51 per cent undivided working interest in Elan’s 21,770 hectares of coal leases near Crowsnest Pass as well as the right to conduct exploration activities on the leases.
The properties are adjacent to the Riversdale Resources Grassy Mountain purchased in January 2013 project and close to existing rail infrastructure with access to Asia through port capacity on the British Columbia’s west coast.
Both the Elan and Riversdale properties are situated in the Municipal District (MD) of Ranchland but Crowsnest Pass council has vowed to work toward annexing this portion.
Commenting on the transaction, Andrew Wusaty, president and CEO said, “This is a great opportunity for Altitude to have a direct involvement in a second exciting early stage coking coal project. From the 1940s to the 1980s, we’ve counted up to nine different companies that have done work on those properties, so it’s not like we’re starting from scratch.”
Wusaty was formerly managing director and CEO of Coalspur Mines, the company developing the Vista Coal Project east of Hinton, which could become one of the largest open-pit coal mines in North America. Last year he moved to Altitude to become chairman of the board.
The Elan management team has significant coal development, operational and capital markets experience both internationally and in Alberta.