BRITISH COLUMBIA - Vancouver-based PINE VALLEY MINING held the official opening ceremony for its Willow Creek mine near Chetwynd on July 7. According to the company, this is the first major new metallurgical coal mine opened in Canada in more than 20 years. BC Minister of State for Mining Bill Bennett, Pine Valley's president and CEO Graham Mackenzie and chairman Jeff Fehn spoke at the event.
The Willow Creek mine shipped its first coal to customers in September 2004, and shipped approximately 290,000 tonnes of coal during the year ended March 31, 2005. Between January and March, Pine Valley completed commissioning of the majority of the equipment built and installed at the Willow Creek coal mine. This infrastructure is capable of producing 2.2 million tonnes of coal per year. The company expects to achieve a monthly mine production rate of approximately 180,000 tonnes when a coal preparation plant and related projects are completed and fully commissioned. The coal preparation plant is presently under construction and is scheduled for completion in the autumn of 2005.
Pine Valley has filed a permit amendment application with the province requesting an increase from the current production level of 900,000 tonnes/year to 2.2 million tonnes. The mine permit amendment application details an accelerated production rate using the current Willow Creek reserves without any increase in the area, known as the mine "footprint", utilized in the mining process.
Investor information about the company is available at www.PineValleyCoal.com.