Cardero takes step in British Columbia mine approval process

Canadian coal mine developer Cardero Resource Corp. (TSX: CDU) (NYSE MKT: CDY) (NYSE Amex: CDY) (FRANKFURT: C5R) said Dec. 3 that the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) has issued a decision under Section 11 of the Environmental Assessment Act (BC) regarding the Carbon Creek Metallurgical Coal Project.

“This milestone is a critical step in the process of securing a permit to operate a mine and means that the Carbon Creek Project is well into the ‘Pre-Application’ phase of the Environmental Assessment (‘EA’) process,” said Cardero. Pre-application is the phase where environmental issues are identified that need to be addressed in the eventual EA document.

A working group, including representatives of First Nations groups and federal, provincial and local government agencies, has been established and met for the first time on July 24th and 25th, 2012. This working group will be involved in the review of EA studies and documentation, including the draft Application Information Requirements (AIR), relating to the EA process. The next stage in the EA process is for the company to prepare the draft AIR for review by the EAO, the working group and First Nations and, subsequently, the public.

The company also announced that Bob Osborne has been appointed as the Director, Community Relations, effective Oct. 1, 2012. He will be working closely with local communities and First Nations to continue positive, open working relationships on behalf of the company as the Carbon Creek Project progresses towards a production decision and anticipated subsequent development.

Osborne has more than 25 years’ experience in First Nations and community relations and consultation. He worked for several years with the BC Environmental Assessment Office consulting on major projects and, more recently, with the BC Ministries of Energy and Mines and Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations on major mines in the province. Previously, he also spent four years with the Okanagan Indian Band as their Director of Community Development.

Cardero Coal started the pre-application process May 9 at the EAO for a new surface and underground metallurgical coal mine with an average annual production rate of 2.9 million tonnes of clean coal. In June 2011, Cardero acquired the balance of Coalhunter Mining Corp., now renamed Cardero Coal, which holds a 75% interest in the Carbon Creek mine project.

The project is located in northeastern British Columbia, about 40 kilometers west of Hudson’s Hope, south of Williston Lake, and 50 kilometers north-northwest of Highway 97 through Pine Pass. The Canadian National rail line connecting the Fort St. John and Tumbler Ridge areas with Prince George passes 30 kilometers south of the property.

The two main coal-bearing units occurring throughout the Foothills region are the Gates Formation and Gething Formation. The property has an estimated measured and indicated resource of 166.7 million tonnes and an inferred resource of 167.1 million tonnes (combined surface and underground).

In the project area, coals of the Gething Formation are primarily ranked as mid-vol bituminous. Gething coals have produced satisfactory metallurgical products, particularly after beneficiation. The project will require surface mining followed by combined surface and underground mining. Approximately three-quarters of the current defined resource could be mined underground.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.