BC Anthracite has been awarded 36 coal licences in the Groundhog Coalfield of British Columbia. The area covered by the licences has been named Groundhog South.
“This is a tremendout milestone for the company and we are excited to secure such a dominant position in the world’s largest high-grade anthracite basin,” said BC Anthracites’ Gino D’Anna.
“The speed at which we have been able to navigate the regulatory process is testament to the strong support of government and community stakeholders for our economic plans for the region.”
The BC Anthracite tenements are located adjacent to coal licences held by Atrum Coal, a company founded by Gino D’Anna and BC Anthracite Chairman, Russell Moran. D’Anna and Moran were forced to resign from the board last year after a boardroom dispute but remain shareholders in the company.
The boardroom battle now appears to have been dragged in the courtroom with Atrum Coal saying in its most recent interim financial results that the company is now “engaged in litigation in the Federal Court against two former directors of the company and a former employee in relation to the formation of BC Anthracite.”
Another legal action brought by “the two former directors” – presumed to D’Anna and Moran, although Atrum Coal does not name them specifically – is also ongoing in the Supreme Court of Western Australia.
Groundhog South has been estimated to contain an exploration target of 2.3 – 3.8 billion t of anthracite. The company now aims to begin inferred and indicated resource drilling in July 2016 to further define the project’s resources. Infrastructure and marketing studies to support a scoping study are also expected to begin by the end of the year.
BC Anthracite also said it had port access agreement with Stewart World Port (SWP) under which the company will be allowed to load and ship up to 5 million tpy of anthracite through the SWP terminal starting in 2018.
SWP is a newly constructed deep-sea port located at the head of the Portland Inlet on the border between British Colombia and Alaska, US, about 150 km from the Groundhog South project.
The port is able to accommodate panamax-size vessels and is a day and half dialing slower to Asian markets that Port Metro Vancouver.
Edited by Jonathan Rowland.