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The Western Canadian Coal Corporation has announced plans to scale back its operations at its Brule and Wolverine coal mines, because of reduced demand for steel.

The company will cut production at the Brule mine from 1.3 million tonnes per year, to 750,000. The company says 35 of its contractor’s employees will be impacted at the Brule mine, located near Chetwynd

At the Wolverine operation, which produces hard-coking coal, near Tumbler Ridge, it’s not yet known how severe the curtailment will be. But, the Canadian Press reports that 300 of its contractor’s employees and 100 of the company’s own employees were given notice Tuesday.

Western Canadian has also given notice it intends to terminate the mining operation contract at Wolverine, which has a current annual capacity of 1.6 million tonnes of coal.

Western Canadian says it expects to operate at the lower rates until the current economic uncertainty improves and the demand for coal becomes clearer.

In December, Western Canadian Coal and British-based Cambrian Investment Holdings Ltd. announced a merger agreement valued at 52 million dollars, intended to help both companies weather the global economic turmoil.

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