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The partnership was formed in March, when the Japanese company purchased a 25 per cent share of Xstrata’s B.C. projects. The Suska Coal Project includes areas acquired from First Coal Corporation and Cline Mining. It will produce coal to be used in the steel manufacturing.

“We believe that the BC projects, including Suska, have significant potential for steel making coal production,” said Shunsaku Miyake, Director, Senior Vice President of JX Nippon.

Mark McManus, Executive General Manager of Xstrata Coal Canada, added, “Xstrata’s partnership with JX Nippon has put us in a positive position to advance the Suska Coal Project.”

He says the pre-feasibility study will include significant exploration and environmental studies, and is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2013. After that, a detailed feasibility study will be done, followed by an assessment by the BC Environmental Assessment Office in order to get the necessary approvals.

Xstrata has recently acquired several coal properties in northern B.C. including the Sukunka coal property south of Chetwynd.

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