Walter Energy Canada closes on sale of coal assets to Conuma

Walter Energy Canada Holdings, an affiliate of bankrupt U.S. coal producer Walter Energy, announced Sept. 9 that a Canadian court-approved sale of its Canadian assets to Conuma Coal Resources Ltd. has closed.

Conuma intends to resume mining operations at the Brule Mine in western Canada in the near future and may resume other mining operations in the area in 2017. Conuma is a member of the ERP Group of Companies.

Walter Energy Canada and certain of its affiliates and partnerships obtained creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada) in 2015. The sale of the company’s assets was approved by order of the Supreme Court of British Columbia on Aug. 16.

Walter Energy Canada now intends to pursue a transaction for its interests in the Walter United Kingdom assets. The Walter United Kingdom entities are not subject to creditor protection.

Canadian court documents show that Conuma is a member of the ERP Compliant Fuels LLC group of companies. The ERP companies have been engaged in a number of transactions in the coal market over the last year, including the acquisition of certain of the Walter U.S. Group’s coal assets in West Virginia and Alabama (called in the U.S. bankruptcy case the “Non-Core Assets”). The Non-Core Assets were purchased by Seminole Coal Resources LLC and certain other members of the ERP group.

Walter Energy Canada’s Canadian operations consist primarily of three coal mines and exploration properties in the Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge areas of northeast British Columbia. These mines have lately been idle as a result of current market conditions.

  • The Wolverine Mine in British Columbia is an open-pit metallurgical coal mine with a coal processing plant and a rail load-out facility capable of handling 2.0 million-2.5 million metric tons per year.
  • The Brule Mine in British Columbia is an open pit metallurgical coal mine and produces a premium low volatile pulverized coal injection (PCI) product.
  • The Willow Creek Mine in British Columbia is an open-pit metallurgical coal mine with a coal processing plant and a rail load-out facility capable of handling production from both the Brule and Willow Creek mines. The Willow Creek Mine produces both metallurgical coal and coal used for PCI purposes. 
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.