Restart of Wolverine Mine Adds 220 Jobs in Peace Region

December 30, 2016

NORTHERN BC – Three months after reopening the Brule Mine, Conuma Coal Resources Ltd. (Conuma Coal) has started hiring ahead of its planned Jan. 2, 2017, restart of the Wolverine Mine near Tumbler Ridge.

“Restarting the Wolverine Mine is tremendous news for families living in and around Tumbler Ridge,” says Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett. “This mine will create approximately 220 new good-paying jobs in the region on top of the 170 jobs created when Conuma Coal reopened Brule Mine in September. The restart of these two mines is a significant boost to the economy in the Peace Region.”

The Wolverine Mine, located approximately 15 kilometres west of Tumbler Ridge, was purchased earlier this year from Walter Canada, along with the nearby Brule and Willow Creek coal mines, by Conuma Coal.

Conuma Coal already has started the hiring process to fill the 220 jobs at the Wolverine mine site and is taking steps to transition the mine from care and maintenance back to production. Conuma Coal plans to have the mine fully staffed and operating at full production levels by April 1, 2017. The company estimates it will produce 1.5 million tonnes of metallurgical coal annually from the Wolverine Mine.

Prior to authorizing the restart of the Wolverine Mine, the Province consulted with potentially affected First Nations on the transfer of permits between Walter Energy and Conuma Coal. The Province has regional coal agreements in place with the West Moberly, Saulteau and Halfway River First Nations.

Staff with the Ministry of Energy and Mines are also reviewing Conuma Coal’s proposal to possibly restart production at the Willow Creek Mine in July 2017. Timing for the restart of the Willow Creek Mine is dependent upon Conuma Coal’s ability to complete the necessary work to satisfy all its permit requirements, as well as its internal planning work and decisions to proceed with the future operations expansion.

With all three mines (i.e., Brule, Wolverine and Willow Creek) in operation in summer 2017, Conuma Coal expects to have 660 employees in total and to generate the following annual economic spinoffs:

  • Paying more than $60 million in wages;
  • Spending $150 million on transportation in B.C. (e.g., trucking, rail, port); and
  • Buying $60 million in parts and services from more than 250 BC companies.
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