BRITISH COLUMBIA Vancouver-based PINE VALLEY MINING says its Willow Creek metallurgical coal mine will begin commercial production in July 2004, thanks to $10 million in debt financing from MARUBENI CORP. of Japan. Marubeni has also agreed to buy at least 600,000 tonnes of coal over two years.
The debt facility will be used for mine site improvements and working capital needed to begin shipments and ramp up to a rate of 95,000 tonnes/month.
Pine Valley hopes to establish itself as a major new unhedged producer of low volatile pulverized coal injection (PCI) and coking coal. It says the Willow Creek PCI coal is a low-sulphur, low-ash product suitable for steel making. The company hopes to diversify its market and sell coal to major steel companies
worldwide. President and CEO Graham Mackenzie expects Pine Valley to be solidly profitable in the third and fourth quarters of 2004.
The company has a web site at www.PineValleyCoal.com.