British Columbia agency terminates review of Horizon coal mine project

Due to lack of forward progress, the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office terminated a long-dormant review of an environmental assessment approval of the Horizon Coal Project.

Horizon Coal is a proposed coal mine located 25 kilometers southwest of Tumbler Ridge. The mine would produce up to 1.6 million tonnes per year of metallurgical coal using conventional underground and open pit mining techniques.

The application terms of reference (information requirements) were approved in February 2007. However the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) has not yet received an application for an EA certificate from Peace River Coal Inc. In February 2016, EAO initiated a process to terminate or invite withdrawal of inactive EAs in order to mitigate the risks and administrative burden they pose. As part of this process, on Feb. 24, 2016, EAO sent a letter to Peace River Coal advising of EAO’s intention to terminate the EA for Horizon Coal. On March 11, 2016, Peace River Coal responded that it has no objections to termination of the EA.

In September 2005, Hillsborough Resources Ltd. submitted a project description to the EAO for the Five Cabin Coal Project. In March 2006, Hillsborough Resources advised the EAO that the project name had been changed to Horizon Mine Coal. In December 2006, Peace River Coal notified the EAO that NEMI Northern Energy and Mining Inc. had entered into a transaction with Anglo Coal Canada and Hillsborough Resources to create the Peace River Coal Partnership. As a result of this transaction all the northeastern British Columbia coal assets of these three parties (except for those related to the Wapiti Project) were transferred into the partnership. These assets include the Horizon Coal project and are held by Peace River Coal Inc.

The terminated project is located in the Hart Foothills of the Central Rocky Mountains in northeastern British Columbia, approximately 600 kilometers by existing roads northeast of Vancouver and approximately 25 kilometers by existing roads southwest of Tumbler Ridge. The project is located within the Peace River Regional District and the Municipal District of Tumbler Ridge.

The company proposed to produce up to 1.6 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of metallurgical (coking) coal products using conventional underground and open pit mining techniques. Construction was scheduled to begin in 2007. Mine-related activities and infrastructure were to include: existing access road upgrades; mine haul roads; portal sites; several open pits; top soil and waste storage areas; wash plant, tailings area and coal handling facility; mine camp; and, a 15-kilometer, 25-kV power line from the existing 230 kV line at the Murray River Crossing.

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.