The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has also approved a Licence of Occupation under the Land Act and a Licence to Cut Amendment under the Forest Act, which are both needed for the mine to move forward.
“It’s great to see the economic success that B.C.’s mining industry is bringing to the Tumbler Ridge area,” Bennett says. “The jobs this mine will create will support families and help build strong communities for many years to come.”
The mine is expected to maintain 450 jobs throughout its lifetime, as well as create 100 extra jobs during construction.
The $200 million Peace River Coal project will result in a 499 hectare expansion of the existing Trend mine located 30 kilometres south of Tumbler Ridge. The mine will be constructed on provincial Crown land, and is projected to add production capacity of two to four million tonnes of metallurgical coal for a 16 year life span. Full production is expected to start in 2014.
The provincial government conditionally gave the project environmental approval in December 2012, finding that it would not have any adverse effects on northern B.C. caribou populations, other than on the Babcock-Quintette herd. In turn, Peace River Coal has secured nearly 2,000 hectares of core caribou habitat for protection and will provide $2.5 million toward the Province’s Peace Northern Caribou Plan.
“As a company committed to maintaining the highest standards of environmental protection,” says Anglo American plc CEO Mark Cutifani, “we are proud to be the first company in British Columbia to take the unprecedented step to set aside 1,852 hectares of our tenures to protect caribou habitat.”
The province says the Anglo American plc Mining Group subsidiary is also in the process of finalizing economic benefit agreements with West Moberly First Nations, McLeod Lake Indian Band, Halfway River First Nations and Saulteau First Nations.