Company renews coal mine plan for northwestern B.C.

THE COMPANY which wants to develop a coal mine in northwestern B.C. has submitted a revised plan to provincial regulatory authorities.

Fortune Minerals of London, Ontario says it has amended an original plan to reduce environmental impacts in hopes of approval for an anthracite mine taking out three million tonnes of coal a year over 25 years for export through facilities in Prince Rupert.

The Arctos Anthracite Project is located in the Klappan area and Fortune has held licences there for a number of years.

Fortune would need a 150km rail line built on an existing railbed right of way south to connect to existing track so the coal could be taken to Prince Rupert.

The revised project description has been submitted to the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office and Fortune hopes a provincial review can include elements of a federal review to avoid duplication.

Dr. Richard Schryer, Fortune's Director of Regulatory and Environmental Affairs, commented, "substitution of the federal EA process enables cooperation between jurisdictions in the delivery of timely, high quality EAs to achieve the objective of a 'one project-one assessment' approach".

Anthracite is a high quality hard metallurgical coal suitable for use in a broad range of steel making and metallurgical processes and as a raw material to manufacture synthetic products.

If all goes according to plan, Fortune would submit a final report to the provincial environmental assessment office in early 2014, starting the clock on a 180-day formal review of the project.

The company two years ago took on a partner by selling 20 per cent of the project to POSCAN, the Canadian subsidiary of POSCO of South Korea, one of the world's largest steel producers.

The Klappan is within Tahltan traditional territory and the Tahltan have objected to the development, saying it threatens the headwaters of three rivers, the Skeena, the Nass and the Stikine.

Fortune says as many as 500 direct jobs and 1000 jobs in supporting activities would be created, generating more than $10 billion in revenues and $900 million in combined federal and provincial taxes.


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