Fortune Minerals slows work on Arctos coal mine project in British Columbia

Fortune Minerals Ltd. said in an April 1 financial report that in 2014 it continued to advance its long-planned Arctos coal-mining project in British Columbia, but is spending little time and effort on it for the moment.

In 2011, Fortune Minerals and Fortune Coal Ltd. (FCL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fortune, entered into an agreement with POSCO Canada Ltd. and POSCO Klappan Coal Ltd. (POSCAN), a wholly-owned subsidiary of POSCO Canada, to advance Arctos to production through an unincorporated joint venture, the Arctos Anthracite Joint Venture (Arctos JV). POSCO Canada’s parent company, POSCO out of South Korea, is one of the world’s largest steel producers. Under that agreement, POSCAN acquired a 20% interest in Arctos. Fortune said it plans to continue discussions with potential debt and equity providers, including potential additional strategic partners, with the aim of achieving a fully financed, permitted project.

During 2014, the company undertook the following activities for Arctos:

  • Continued to cooperate and work closely with the BC government to achieve clarity on land use and access;
  • Continued environmental, permitting, community and government relations activities to advance the Arctos environmental assessment (EA) process and community relations. To advance the EA process, the company has conducted additional environmental baseline, geochemical, hydrogeological, geotechnical and archaeological studies activities and has completed the draft application information requirements;
  • Continued activities to enhance relationships with key groups, including impacted local communities and First Nations, government regulators and other interested parties;
  • Contributed as requested to the ongoing Klappan Strategic Initiative (KSI) process involving the Tahltan Nation and government of British Columbia;
  • Continued to seek opportunities to work with representatives from the Tahltan Nation; and
  • Held meetings and discussions with representatives from the Gitxsan Nation.

The company said, though, that it is currently focused on advancing the Revenue Silver Mine project in Colorado and the NICO gold-cobalt-bismuth-copper project in the Northwest Territories (NWT), and is not currently engaged in any activities to develop the Arctos project.

Noted the report: “Exploration and evaluation expenditures for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2014 were lower Company has reduced spending on these projects pending further financing and additional clarity from the Governments of the NWT on the road for NICO and from the BC Government on the permitting process for Arctos. Expenditures for Arctos in 2013 were significantly higher due to a fieldwork program in support of permitting activities, environmental studies and community relations activities.”

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.