Western Canadian Coal Corp.
TSX : WTN
AIM : WTN

Western Canadian Coal Corp.

November 03, 2005 09:00 ET

Western Canadian Coal Updates on Burnt River Projects

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 3, 2005) - Western Canadian Coal Corp. (TSX:WTN)(AIM:WTN) ("WCCC" or the "Company") is pleased to provide the following updates on its Burnt River property projects. The Burnt River property, within WCCC's Brazion Group of properties, incorporates the Dillon Mine and the Brule Mine Project and is located between Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge in Northeastern British Columbia.

Brule Mine Project

The estimated coal resources for the Brule Mine (Brule and Blind deposits) are as follows:

- The Brule deposit contains a resource of 36.21 million tonnes (Mt) of Measured and 0.01 Mt of Indicated in-situ low volatile bituminous coal and the Blind deposit contains a resource of 2.36 Mt of Inferred in-situ low volatile bituminous coal. These quantities are reflective of three seams of economic significance within the Gething coal formation.

- Based on detailed mine designs and economic analysis developed for a recently completed feasibility study, included in the Brule resource is a Proven Reserve of 22.48 Mt (diluted) of ROM coal, derived from mining 21.23 Mt of in-situ coal, and expected to provide 21.13 Mt of 7.5% ash (air-dried basis) product after beneficiation, giving effect to plant yield of 92% and associated moisture gains to an 8% moisture product. WCCC expects to sell this coal into the Pulverized Coal Injection (PCI) coal market.

- These resources and reserves are supported by a Technical Report prepared for WCCC by Marston Canada Ltd. (Marston) and filed on SEDAR. Marston was engaged by WCCC to review the geological resources and provide mine design and planning services in conjunction with a feasibility study compiled by Sandwell Engineering.

- The Independent Qualified Person for the resources and reserves is Edward H. Minnes, P.E. (Missouri), a senior project manager and mining consultant within Marston who has 20 years of mining experience, including experience with Northeast BC coal mines.

- The Technical Report indicates that on the Brule property, low-volatile bituminous coal is present in sufficient quantities to justify the development of the Brule deposit into an operating mine. Marston identified that from the data verification, geological model appraisal and mine design work, the Brule deposit should proceed to full development as a production PCI coal mine when WCCC obtains the necessary development permits (Environmental Assessment Certificate and Mine Permit).

WCCC also announces that it has filed for initial screening by the Provincial Government the Environmental Assessment ("EA") Certificate application to mine PCI coal at a rate of 2 Mt per year for the Brule Mine Project. Receipt of the EA Certificate is anticipated in mid 2006. Until WCCC is satisfied that coal prices and transportation costs will support the full development of the Brule Mine Project, WCCC anticipates that it will initially develop and operate the Brule property in a similar manner as the adjacent Dillon Mine. Work has been completed on identifying areas of low strip ratio, high quality coal that could be mined and processed using the existing Dillon plant facilities. This would allow the Brule Mine Project to be started in 2006, pending receipt of the necessary permits. This will provide a continuity of production from the Burnt River properties following anticipated completion of the mining of the Dillon reserves in the third quarter of 2006.

These reported resources and reserves are contained in the deposits for which WCCC had previously indicated a historical resource of 32 Mt reported by Teck Corporation in the early 1980s. They are now however, reflective of significantly more drilling and additional information and are fully compliant with requirements under National Instrument 43-101.

Dillon Mine

On July 27, 2005, WCCC received approval from the B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines to increase the Dillon Mine production from 240,000 tonnes annually to a continuous rate of 80,000 tonnes per month. The increase in mine production rate allows WCCC to mine the Dillon deposit at an accelerated rate over two years.

During recent mining in the Dillon Pit, WCCC exposed an undefined fault in the southern end of the Dillon syncline. The net effect of the fault is a decline in the coal reserves of 188,000 tonnes, thereby revising the total reserves to 1.37 Mt. The lower reserve amount will also advance the completion date for the Dillon Mine, although WCCC anticipates that the planned development of the Brule Mine Project should allow for an uninterrupted coal flow to its customers. The Qualified Person for the Dillon reserve is James Proc, P. Eng., an employee of the company.

The Qualified Persons have reviewed the statements with respect to the reserves for which they are cited, and agree with these statements.

Forward-Looking Information

This release may contain forward-looking statements that may involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements relate to the Company's expectations, intentions, plans and beliefs. As a result, actual future events or results could differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. Readers are referred to the documents filed by the Company on SEDAR. Such risk factors include, but are not limited to, changes in commodity prices; strengths of various economies; the effects of competition and pricing pressures; the oversupply of, or lack of demand for, the Company's products; currency and interest rate fluctuations; various events which could disrupt operations; the Company's ability to obtain additional funding on favourable terms, if at all; and the Company's ability to anticipate and manage the foregoing factors and risks. Additionally, statements related to the quantity or magnitude of coal deposits are deemed to be forward-looking statements. The reliability of such information is affected by, among other things, uncertainties involving geology of coal deposits; uncertainties of estimates of their size or composition; uncertainties of projections related to costs of production; the possibilities in delays in mining activities; changes in plans with respect to exploration, development projects or capital expenditures; and various other risks including those related to health, safety and environmental matters.

WESTERN CANADIAN COAL CORP.

Gary K. Livingstone, President and Chief Executive Officer


Contact Information

  • Western Canadian Coal Corp.
    Gary K. Livingstone
    President & CEO
    (604) 608-2692
    or
    Western Canadian Coal Corp.
    Fausto Taddei
    CFO & Corporate Secretary
    (604) 608-2692
    (604) 629-0075 (FAX)
    info@westerncoal.com
    www.westerncoal.com