The Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board said May 11 that it has received a mine permit amendment application, and Alberta Environment and Water has received an environmental impact assessment (EIA), from the Coal Valley Resources Inc. (CVRI) unit of Sherritt International (TSX: S) for the proposed Robb Trend project.
Robb Trend would be new permit area for the existing Coal Valley strip mine, which is located about 100 kilometers south of Edson in the Coal Branch area of Alberta. The mine has been in operation since 1978, employing both truck/shovel and dragline mining methods. The mine supplies thermal coal for overseas and domestic markets.
At current forecast rates of coal production, CVRI will need to enter new permit areas as coal reserves in the existing permit area become depleted. CVRI’s reserve estimate for the Robb Trend project area is about 177.5 million tonnes of raw coal. This additional tonnage would provide CVRI with enough reserves to operate at its projected rates of production until 2038.
Sherritt, which operates a number of mines in western Canada that supply minemouth power plants, is the largest thermal coal producer in Canada. CVRI is the owner of Coal Valley, the Gregg River mine, the Obed Mountain mine and the Coleman properties, all located in Alberta.
Coal Valley was the first exporter of thermal coal within the area and has the capacity to produce more than 4 million tonnes of sub-bituminous thermal coal annually. In 2005, CVRI expanded its Coal Valley processing plant to nearly 4 million tonnes per year, doubling thermal coal production capacity at the mine.
The Energy Resources Conservation Board is an independent, quasi-judicial agency of the government of Alberta.