The Brule project is comprised of two major components – the proposed open-pit coal mine located 55 km south of Chetwynd and a proposed rail load out located about 60 km west of Chetwynd at Falling Creek Flats. Coal from the new Brule mine will be trucked to the existing Bullmoose load out near Tumbler Ridge until the Falling Creek load out and 22 km of new road are constructed in about three years. In addition, two new 25-kilowatt power lines will connect the mine and load out to the existing BC Hydro grid.
The mine has potential to produce up to two million tonnes per year of pulverized coal injection coal for sale in the export market. Western Canadian Coal Corp.’s (the proponent) adjacent Dillon Mine is scheduled to close later in 2006. The proponent’s objective is to transition directly from Dillon to Brule without interruption of production. Coal from the Dillon operation is currently trucked to the Bullmoose load out.
The environmental assessment concluded the proponent’s proposed mitigation measures satisfactorily address issues raised by government agencies, First Nations and local communities.
The provincial environmental assessment certificate contains 14 environmental management plans and 122 commitments that the proponent must implement throughout the various phases of the project. Some key commitments include:
· Environmental supervision and monitoring, air and dust control, and sediment and erosion control management plans during construction to protect water quality, air quality and fisheries.
· Protection of archaeological and traditional land use sites.
· Protection of air and water by meeting site-specific air and water quality objectives as set by the Ministry of Environment.
· Wildlife protection plan to minimize potential impacts on wildlife, including grizzly bear and woodland caribou.
· A reclamation and decommissioning plan which includes wildlife and forestry end land use objectives.
· Health, safety and traffic management plans.
· Support of training programs, provision of apprenticeship opportunities and development of a community awareness program.
In addition, the proponent is required to obtain the necessary permits and authorizations following receipt of an environmental assessment certificate.
The project was not subject to a federal environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. However, Fisheries and Oceans Canada participated in the project working group, which provided advice to the Environmental Assessment Office during the review.
The project capital cost is approximately $200 million, to be invested during the construction stage, with 200 jobs created during the construction phase and 250 jobs during its operation over an 11-year mine life.
More information on the environmental certificate can be found at www.eao.gov.bc.ca.
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Environment
For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca.