BRITISH COLUMBIA Billing itself as the "next generation of coal mines in Canada", PINE VALLEY MINING of Vancouver has opened the Willow Creek open pit coal mine about 45 km west of Chetwynd. This is the first new Canadian metallurgical coal mine in 20 years. It is wholly-owned by Pine Valley.
Willow Creek reserves total 25 million tonnes, and there is an additional resource of 79 million tonnes. To begin, the mining rate for the truck and shovel operation will be approximately 45,000 tonnes/month, rising to 95,000 tonnes by October. Pine Valley expects to ship 475,000 tonnes of crushed coal during the remainder of the year.
The cost of creating a new coal mine was covered by a $10-million debt financing and a $3-million equity financing. MARUBENI CORP. of Japan provided the debt financing and will purchase at least 600,000 tonnes of coal over two years. Pine Valley management hopes the company will be "solidly profitable" in the fourth quarter of 2004.
The technical report on the Willow Creek property is available at www.PineValleyCoal.com.