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Chinese Consortium Makes $1 Billion Move into British Columbia Coal

Coal in northeast British Columbia has attracted the attention of a consortium of Chinese investors. The Chinese group hopes to develop three underground coal mines in the area to help secure the key raw material it needs for its steel industry. The ambitious project would cost U.S.$1 billion and create about 6,000 jobs directly and indirectly associated with the mines.

The consortium consists of two Chinese coal companies and one steelmaker namely the Shougang group which is amongst the top five steel makers in China. Employment Minister Pat Bell said that they have plans to lease the mine sites near the Tumbler Ridge from a Chinese company that is already mining in British Columbia. The estimated annual production would be about 8 million tonnes of coal.

Mr Bell said that he thought British Colombia based mining companies have walked away from these projects over the years, because the notion of going underground would be intimidating for them. He added that they haven’t developed the technical expertise that the Chinese have.

This was not the case as per Pierre Gratton, the president of the Mining Association of B.C. who disagreed with the Jobs Minister. He said that Canadians were the world leaders in mining including underground mining and he did not entirely agree woth the minister. He added that open pit mining was more common in the province but that was more due to the nature of the resource rather than the expertise involved.

The consortium will begin the environmental assessment this year and will begin mine construction by early next year as per the minister. He said that they were probably prepared to make this level of investment to help get the coking coal into their steel mills faster.

Joel Scanlon

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Joel Scanlon

Joel relocated to Australia in 1995 from the United Kingdom and spent five years working in the mining industry as an exploration geotechnician. His role involved utilizing GIS mapping and CAD software. Upon transitioning to the North Coast of NSW, Australia, Joel embarked on a career as a graphic designer at a well-known consultancy firm. Subsequently, he established a successful web services business catering to companies across the eastern seaboard of Australia. It was during this time that he conceived and launched News-Medical.Net. Joel has been an integral part of AZoNetwork since its inception in 2000. Joel possesses a keen interest in exploring the boundaries of technology, comprehending its potential impact on society, and actively engaging with AI-driven solutions and advancements.

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