First Coal announced plans to begin mining in the Goodrich Central South region, a 92,000 hectare property 45 kilometres southwest of Chetwynd. With a planned grand opening in 2009, the company plans to mine 100,000 tonnes, increasing to a multimillion tonne operation at full capacity. CN Rail will be the main rail carrier for the new mine. First Coal?s other transportation needs will be outsourced through local companies.
Michael Hunter, First Coal?s Director of Exploration, spoke of the environmental impact that mining can have, stating that the company believes in an environmental approach to mining, leaving the mined area in position to aid fast recovery. Hunter says First Coal believe in a full retreat, with reforestation, having not damaged or changed the land?s topography, with less blasting; careful what we do here so we do not do long term damage.
First Coal will be relocating their Operations office from its present Main Street location to Chetwynd with the move planned for July. The company prides itself in its staff retention record. Hunter says personnel are inclined to stay as they pay well; working conditions are pleasant with the chance for in?house development.
First Coal?s new Goodrich mine can only be a boon for the South Peace with employment and contract opportunities for the nearby towns, Tumbler Ridge included.