A map of the proposed project area. Supplied

New Elk Valley coal mine back on table

North Coal resubmits proposal to mine coal southeast of Sparwood

Once again pursuing their goal of exploration and development of the proposed Michel Coal Project, North Coal Ltd. has re-entered the Environmental Assessment process and submitted a revised project description to several groups.

These groups include the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the Ktunaxa Nation.

After initially submitting a project description in late 2015, North Coal paused the regulatory process to allow further time to explore their license area and optimize mine design.

The proposed project is located in the Crowsnest coalfield in the Elk Valley.

The company holds the coal licenses that comprise the project area which contain significant coking coal resources, referred to as the Loop Ridge, Michel Head and Tent Mountain deposits.

These are located approximately 15km southeast of Sparwood.

Speaking to this, the emerging metallurgical coal producer out of Sparwood says they understand the unique challenges of operating in the Elk Valley.

“North Coal has incorporated best practices and innovative technologies into our mine design to reduce waste generation, protect water resources and minimize landscape alteration,” North Coal stated in a press release on September 25.

“As our project develops, we will continue to integrate proven engineering and environment design features into our project to achieve strong environmental performance.”

The project is based on a mine life of up to 30 years, depending on final production rate, annual production of approximately 2.3 to four million tonnes of raw coal, and an estimate of the project disturbance footprint of approximately 966ha at Loop Ridge, 458ha at Michel Head and 502ha at Tent Mountain, totaling 1926ha.

The release further stated that the company’s overriding goal is to make a positive social, economic and environmental contribution, “where we live through a commitment to safe operations, collaboration, and sustainable management of our land and resources”.

They encouraged anyone with questions on the project to contact their office at 778-518-0775.

The full project description is available online by searching “North Coal Limited” at Projects.eao.gov.bc.ca.

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