COAL DEVELOPMENT Dillon Mine Permit Awarded

BRITISH COLUMBIA WESTERN CANADIAN COAL of Vancouver has received a provincial permit to begin development of the...
BRITISH COLUMBIA WESTERN CANADIAN COAL of Vancouver has received a provincial permit to begin development of the Dillon mine on its Burnt River property in the northeastern part of the province. Commercial production is scheduled for November this year.

The Dillon mine is focused on the Dillon Syncline of the Burnt River property. It will exploit a mining reserve of 1.56 million tonnes at an annual rate of 240,000 tonnes and will be campaign-mined at a rate of up to 60,000 tonnes per month. Additional drilling was completed in August on adjacent areas of the property to update and confirm approximately 30 million tonnes of historical resources defined by Teck Cominco in the early 1980s.

The Burnt River PCI (pulverized coal injection) coal is a low-sulphur, low-ash and low-volatile product used in steel production as a replacement for high-priced coke. The high quality of the coal has resulted in expressions of interest from Asian and European steel producers for trial cargoes commencing in December.

Western has awarded the general services contract for mine construction and operations to PELLY CONSTRUCTION. Other contracts have been awarded to West Moberly First Nations for gravel-crushing, and to local contractors for site-clearing and for haulage of coal to the rail head at the Bullmoose loadout near the town of Tumbler Ridge. Mobilization for these contracts will commence immediately. The required coal crushing, sizing and quality control plant equipment has already been acquired.

Western is also conducting studies toward applications for an Environmental Assessment Certificate and permit in the first quarter of 2005 to mine the adjacent Brule deposit. Production at the Brule mine would be expected at the beginning of 2006, and together with the Dillon mine, targeted production will be 1.5 million tonnes/year of PCI coal.

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