The British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office has released an Application Information Requirements (AIR) document, dated Sept. 3, that outlines plans for a deep coal mine to be built by a China-connected company.
The AIR specifies the information that will be included by HD Mining International Ltd. in the application for an Environmental Assessment (EA) Certificate. In British Columbia, proposed major projects are required to obtain an EA certificate in accordance with the BC Environmental Assessment Act.
HD Mining is proposing to develop the Murray River Coal Project, an underground mine with an annual production of six million tonnes of metallurgical coal over 31 years. The proposed project is located 12.5 kilometers south of Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, and within the boundaries of Treaty 8. The nearest communities include West Moberly, Saulteau and McLeod Lake, and the District of Tumbler Ridge. The project proponent has met with and will continue to meet with these communities.
The proposed project will provide approximately 600 direct jobs and 700 indirect jobs during operations and has an estimated capital cost of C$300m. Environmental and socio-economic baseline studies were initiated in 2010. Engineering and scoping studies have been completed by HD ‘s engineers and consultant Norwest Corp. Further engineering work is being undertaken by the proponent.
HD Mining received approvals from the provincial government in February 2012 and March 2012 to mine a 100,000 tonne bulk sample to test the coal for use as a coking coal and to perform coal washability testing. The raw coal mined for the bulk sample will be shipped by truck directly to the port in Prince Rupert for testing to be completed overseas.
The company is currently preparing the site to mine the bulk sample in the fall of 2013. Permitted infrastructure associated with the bulk sample is divided between two areas: the shaft area and the decline area.
HD Mining International Ltd. is a private corporation formed by two majority partners, Huiyong Holdings (BC) Ltd. (55%) and Canadian Dehua International Mines Group Inc. (40%), with 5% held by another party. As the majority investor, Huiyong Holdings (BC) Ltd. is responsible for project investment and guides mine development and operation. The Board of Directors of HD Mining International is comprised of representatives of the partner companies. Penggui Yan, Chairman of Huiyong Holdings Group, the parent company of Huiyong Holdings (BC) Ltd., serves as Chairman.
Huiyong Holding Group (HHG), the parent company of Huiyong Holdings (BC) Ltd., is a private company based in China and a respected leader in underground coal mining. Currently HHG operates nine mines throughout China.
HD Mining is the company that kicked up a fuss months ago over plans to import workers from China to man this mine. This is one of several coking coal mining projects in the works in western Canada as companies position themselves to meet expected resurgent demand for this coal in countries around the Pacific Rim, including China.