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Wolverine coal mine near Tumbler Ridge set to restart Jan. 2

Three months after reopening the Brule Mine, Conuma Coal Resources Ltd. (Conuma Coal) has started hiring ahead of its planned Jan. 2, 2017, restart of the Wolverine Mine near Tumbler Ridge.

An advertisement in this morning’s Prince George Citizen has the company looking for everything from shovel and dozer operators to truck drivers, drillers, electricians, payroll personnel, and buyers.

The province estimates the mine will create 220 jobs in the region. This is in addition to 170 jobs created with Conuma Coal reopened the Brule Mine in September.

The Wolverine Mine, located approximately 15 kilometres west of Tumbler Ridge, was purchased earlier this year from Walter Canada, along with the nearby Brule and Willow Creek coal mines, by Conuma Coal.

Conuma Coal already has started the hiring process to fill the 220 jobs at the Wolverine mine site and is taking steps to transition the mine from care and maintenance back to production. Conuma Coal plans to have the mine fully staffed and operating at full production levels by April 1, 2017. The company estimates it will produce 1.5 million tonnes of metallurgical coal annually from the Wolverine Mine.

Prior to authorizing the restart of the Wolverine Mine, the province consulted with potentially affected First Nations on the transfer of permits between Walter Energy and Conuma Coal. The province has regional coal agreements in place with the West Moberly, Saulteau and Halfway River First Nations.

“The subsequent opening of the second operation in the last three months, has been possible because of the progressive collaboration between the ministry, the previous owners, the courts, First Nations, local communities and a great group of employees – a true win-win,” said Mark A. Bartkoski, president of Conuma Coal Resources Ltd., in a press release. “Our goal of being a blessing to all of our partners is a journey that is coming to reality.”

Staff with the Ministry of Energy and Mines are also reviewing Conuma Coal’s proposal to possibly restart production at the Willow Creek Mine in July 2017. Timing for the restart of the Willow Creek Mine is dependent upon Conuma Coal’s ability to complete the necessary work to satisfy all its permit requirements, as well as its internal planning work and decisions to proceed with the future operations expansion.

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