Canadian Mining Journal

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COAL STUDY: Vista to be largest export thermal coal mine in North America

ALBERTA - The bankable feasibility study for what will be North America's largest export thermal coal mine, the Vista project owned by Coalspur Mines of Calgary, suggests a yearly capacity of 11.2 million tonnes. The deposit is located 8 km...



ALBERTA – The bankable feasibility study for what will be North America’s largest export thermal coal mine, the Vista project owned by Coalspur Mines of Calgary, suggests a yearly capacity of 11.2 million tonnes. The deposit is located 8 km east of Hinton.

Total development costs for the Vista project are estimated to be $1.234 billion. The deposit contains proven and probable recoverable reserves of 565.5 million tonnes. Of that amount, 313.4 million tonnes are considered marketable. During the first 10 years of production, mine gate cash costs will be $27.30/tonne, and FOB cash costs will run $61.00/tonne. Operating cash flows during the same period will be $421.0 million per year. Life of the project is expected to be 30 years.

The mine will be developed in two phases, beginning with the eastern half of the deposit for which Coalspur received a mine permit in May 2011. The first phase will see a 5.0 million t/y operation that will begin production in early 2015. Construction of the second phase will follow, with full capacity of 11.2 million t/y reached in 2018.

Coalspur will sell the Vista coal to China, Japan and Korea. The company has a 8.5-t/y throughput agreement with Ridley Terminals on the west coast for 21 years. It has also signed a memorandum of understanding with CN Rail for shipment to the coast.

More information is available at Coalspur.com.