For decades, the Peace Region mining industry centered in Tumbler Ridge has been a major economic driver. With the rise and fall of commodity prices over the years, the communities in proximity to the mines have had to weather the boom and bust cycle that comes with the mining industry. After several years of low commodity prices, several mines had idled back or closed operations. However, 2016 saw a surge in Coal prices, particularly in Metallurgical coal, which led to the the restart of mines in the area. In the fall of 2016 Conuma Coal reopened the Brule Mine adding 170 jobs to the area. The company also opened the Wolverine Mine and began producing coal in 2017, providing an additional 220 jobs to the local economy. Then in July 2018, Conuma Coal opened their 3rd mine in as many years in the Peace Region, adding yet another 190 jobs.
Environmental Assessments are currently ongoing for other proposed mines that, if approved, would add millions more metric tonnes of production annually to the Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd areas.
Major Mining Projects
Brule (Dillon) – Conuma Coal Resources Ltd.
The Brule mine (originally called the Dillon mine) is located south of Chetwynd in northeast BC. The mine began production in December 2004 and went into care and maintenance in July 2014 due to low coal prices. Brule re-opened under new ownership in October 2016.
Read more: http://mines.nrs.gov.bc.ca/p/brule-dillon/
Murray River – HD Mining International Ltd.
Status: Pre-application (permitting)
Murray River is a coal mine located 12.5km southwest of Tumbler Ridge. In 2017, HD Mining International Ltd. applied to develop the project as an underground metallurgical coal mine, estimated to produce 6 million tonnes per year. The project received an Environmental Assessment (EA) certificate in October 2015, a Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) certificate in December 2017, a Mines Act permit on April 5, 2018, and an Environmental Management Act (EMA) permit on July 11, 2018.
Read more: http://mines.nrs.gov.bc.ca/p/murray-river
Trend-Roman – Anglo American Plc
Status: Care & Maintenance
Peace River Coal’s Trend coal mine, located near Tumbler Ridge in northeast BC, began production in 2006. Operations were to be integrated with those of the Roman coal mine; however, as a result of low coal prices, Trend-Roman has been in care and maintenance since January 2015.
Read more: http://mines.nrs.gov.bc.ca/p/trend-roman
Willow Creek – Conuma Coal Resources Ltd.
The Willow Creek mine is located southwest of Chetwynd, near the Pine Pass in northeast B.C. Willow Creek commenced operations in July 2005 and produced metallurgical (steelmaking) coal until the mine entered care and maintenance status in October 2006. Mining resumed from August-November 2008, then again from 2010-2014, at which point the mine went into care and maintenance due to low coal prices. Conuma Coal Resources purchased Willow Creek from Walter Energy in September 2016, along with two other coal mines, Wolverine and Brule, all located in northeastern B.C. Willow Creek mine restarted operations in July 2018.
Read more: http://mines.nrs.gov.bc.ca/p/willow-creek
Wolverine – Conuma Coal Resources Ltd.
Located approximately 25 km southwest of Tumbler Ridge, the Wolverine coal mine operated from 2006 until it went into care and maintenance in April 2014. The mine re-opened in January 2017 and currently employs approximately 325 people.
Read more: http://mines.nrs.gov.bc.ca/p/wolverine