SPARWOOD, British Columbia Partners TECK COMINCO and FORDING CANADIAN COAL TRUST are pleased by the rising prices for export coal from their ELK VALLEY COAL CORP. mines. The new contract is for approximately US$51/tonne, an increase of 20% from this year. The new contract covers the coal-year beginning April 1, 2004.
More than 80% of Elk Valley's coal available for sale for the 2004 coal-year has now been priced and contracted. Average coal prices for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2004, are expected to be US$48/tonne, an increase of 13% over the current year. Assuming a US/Canadian dollar exchange rate of US$0.77 and taking into account Elk Valley's foreign currency hedge position in 2004, the Canadian dollar price of coal is expected to increase 9% to Cdn$67/tonne for the 2004 coal-year.
Teck Cominco and Fording previously announced that production costs at Elk Valley are expected to decline over the next four years due to more efficient operations and declining strip ratios. More news is available at www.fording.ca.