TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. – It was standing room only at a meeting in Tumbler Ridge last night with officials from Conuma Coal Resources Ltd. to discuss the company’s plans to reopen three coal mines in the southwest Peace.
Tumbler Ridge Chief Administrative Officer Jordan Wall says that over 200 members of the public were on hand for the meeting. Wall says that according to Conuma officials, operations at the Brule mine located roughly halfway between Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd have already resumed with workers moving Earth, with operations ramping up in the near future.
Chetwynd Mayor Merlin Nichols says that the district council met with Conuma officials on Tuesday, ahead of a public meeting this coming Monday. He says that the company expects to hire 170 full-time workers at the mine in the coming months, with numbers being split 50/50 between Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge. Nichols says that once Conuma has reopened the Wolverine mine, those workers at Brule from Tumbler Ridge would be transferred to the closer mine, and more Chetwynd residents would be hired to fill their spot.
Wall says that the Wolverine mine, located southwest of Tumbler Ridge along the CN spur line to Prince George is scheduled to reopen within the next 12 months. Had added that though things are looking much better for the community in an economic sense, the district will still be working to diversify their local economy while also doing the most that they can to support Conuma’s efforts to reopen the mine.
Both Nichols and Wall say that they are incredibly pleased at Conuma’s announcement that the mines will be resuming operations, saying that the impacts on their respective communities’ economies will be positive.