Second coal mine reopens in northeast B.C., raising hopes in Tumbler Ridge
Town was hard-hit by closure of three nearby coal mines in 2014
VICTORIA—Christmas came a little late for Tumbler Ridge, B.C.
A mining company that owns three nearby sites was busy hiring through the holidays as it prepared to reopen of the Wolverine Mine about 15 kilometres west of town.
Conuma Coal Resources Ltd. said the reopening of the mine is expected to create 220 jobs, providing further relief to a community hard-hit by closures three years ago.
The new jobs are in addition to 170 position created when Conuma Coal restarted the nearby Brule Mine in September, just months after purchasing both properties and a third coal mine in northwestern B.C. from Walter Canada.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines says Conuma expects to have the Wolverine Mine operating at full production levels by April, exporting 1.5 million tonnes of metallurgical coal annually.
Skidding coal prices forced Walter Canada to shut down its Tumbler Ridge-area mines in 2014, barely three years after acquiring them.
Tumbler Ridge Mayor Don McPherson said the mine’s reopening is welcome after hard times for the community.
“The opening of the Wolverine Mine by Conuma Coal is the best Christmas present Tumbler Ridge could have asked for,” McPherson said in a news release. “We have had a tough three years, and this will put people back to work and improve our economic outlook.”