Coalspur challenges Aussie coal supply chain

Canadian coal miner Coalspur says its port is '500km closer to Fukuyama than Newcastle', in a bid to compete for Asia Pacific supply

Coalspur challenges Aussie coal supply chain
Coalspur challenges Aussie coal supply chain

By Anna Game-Lopata | February 14, 2012

Canadian thermal coal miner Coalspur says its west coast port is '500km closer to Fukuyama than Newcastle', in a bid to compete with
Australia as an alternative supplier to the Asia Pacific.

The company today announced updated supply chain shipping and rail haulage agreements set to help it achieve its goal of developing a major new Canadian thermal export coal region to meet "insatiable" demand from the Asia Pacific market.

Coalspur Mines says its updated
agreement with
Ridely Teminals at Prince Rupert, will deliver
the thermal coal producer
an additional 2.2 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of throughput capacity, beginning in 2017.

The Ridley Terminals port, which saw a throughput volume of 9.4 million tonnes in 2011, was waiting on approval
from the Canadian Federal Government for an
to allow for the stipulated extra capacity.

Comprising the addition of a fourth stacker/reclaimer, upgrade to existing loading equipment and the replacement of
tandem rotary dumper barrels, the
program will allow terminal expansion beyond Coalspur’s currently planned 25 Mtpa by 2014.

Coalspur has now secured 11.7 Mtpa of port allocation at Ridley Terminals, which the company believes substantially satisfies the requirements for the Vista Coal Project, which is scheduled to produce up to 12.0 Mtpa of high quality thermal coal.

The port allocation agreement entitles Coalspur up to 13.5 Mpta of port allocation for up to 21 years.

In addition the company has secured an updated contract with Canada's largest freight railroad, Canadian National Railway (CN), which provides
transportation and intermodal services throughout North America.

Coalspur says following an optimisation study demonstrating the feasibility of increasing Vista’s clean coal production rate to 12.0 Mtpa, CN has agreed to increase its allocated rail haulage service to match.

The deal also outlines terms to develop a high-quality logistics supply chain to transport coal from Vista to western Canadian ports
and the
design of loadout and rail siding.

"Coalspur and CN continue to work towards definitive transportation and infrastructure agreements which are expected to be concluded in 2012," says Coalspur President and Chief Executive Officer Gill Winckler.

"Coalspur’s access to existing first-world rail and port infrastructure places it in a unique position amongst coal development companies worldwide. Canada’s west coast provides an enviable shipping route to Coalspur’s target markets.

"The latest agreement with Ridley Terminals secures our port allocation requirements for Vista in an existing facility and the revised agreement with CN provides for matching rail capacity.

"We are working closely with CN on definitive agreements which, once finalised, are expected to complete the infrastructure requirements to export coal from Vista to the Asia Pacific market."

Covering approximately 10,000 hectares and containing over 985 million tonnes of export quality thermal coal, the Vista Coal Project based in west Canada’s mining district of Alberta has the potential to be one of the largest export thermal coal mines in North America.

Coalspur has offices in Calgary and Hinton in Canada as well as in Australia.

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