BRITISH COLUMBIA - Vancouver-based WESTERN CANADIAN COAL has reported significantly increased coal reserves at its Wolverine mine near Tumbler Ridge. The updated, NI-43-101 study was conducted by MARSTON CANADA.
Open pit reserves at Wolverine are given as proven (Perry Creek pit35.8 million tonnes run-of-mine coal), and probable (EB pit7.4 million tonnes run-of-mine coal). Looking at total proven and probable clean coal output, the new figure of 27.7 million tonnes for both pits is 70% higher than the figure reported two years ago.
The development of the Wolverine mine project is currently on schedule and it is anticipated that the mine will be in production by July 2006. Further detail on the status of construction activities is provided in the company's most recent Management Discussion & Analysis as filed on SEDAR (www.Sedar.com) on Nov 7, 2005.
Based on the feasibility study, Western expects an average cash cost during operations to be US$53/tonne in 2005 dollar terms at the current exchange rate. Current prices for this quality of coal exceed US$120 per tonne.
Elsewhere on the Wolverine properties, definition drilling has been completed on the Hermann North deposit, and geological modeling is now underway. Hermann North currently has a measured resource of 7.0 million tonnes and indicated resource of 36.2 million tonnes as reported in August 2001. The recently completed drilling program was designed to increase the confidence of the Hermann North resource estimate and provide a basis for mine planning and design. Production from Hermann North would provide additional feed to the Wolverine coal preparation plant.