Centermount suspends plans for new mine in Elk Valley

Company announces it has suspended its exploration and development program at the Bingay Main metallurgical coal project

  • Apr. 10, 2013 12:00 p.m.

Angela Treharne/Fernie Free Press

Centermount Coal Ltd has just announced that it has suspended its exploration and development program at the Bingay Main metallurgical coal project located approximately 21 kilometres north of Elkford and on the western boundary of Teck’s Fording operation.

The Chairman of Centermount’s Board, Jack Austin, stated that, “Our Bingay Main project has outlined in a prefeasibility study completed in the fall of 2012, a deposit of nearly 200 million tonnes of raw coal with metallurgical qualities similar to those of Fording coal. Work to date has focused on defining proven and mineable reserves both by open pit and underground methods, and by defining best environmental practices including proper control of selenium to avoid contamination of the Elk River watershed.”

Mr. Austin advised that “the present global economy has reduced the demand for iron ore and therefore for metallurgical coal.

“The advice of our financial advisors is to expect that price strengthening will take place by the summer of 2014.

“Metallurgical coal producers are taking much lower prices today than in 2011 or in early 2012. The board has therefore decided that raising the major investment funds to complete a final economic feasibility study should await a metallurgical coal price and steel industry market recovery as current financial proposals are excessively dilutive.”

Centermount Coal Ltd is a private British Columbia company which has invested more than $20 million of shareholders’ funds in its Bingay Main project.

Centermount said they greatly appreciate the support they have received from the RDEK Area A Director, Mayors and Council of Elkford, Sparwood, and Fernie, the Elk Valley community in general and their Kootenay based suppliers.

They also said they expect to resume the program in 2014.