Vancouver, B.C. May 19, 2004 – The Board of Western Canadian Coal Corp. (TSX-V:WTN) (“Western” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Gary K. Livingstone as President and CEO and director of the Corporation effective May 25′.
Mr. Livingstone continues his long and distinguished career as a successful senior mining executive. A Professional Engineer (mining), he has an extensive record of accomplishment in the coal industry having served as President of Westar Mining Ltd.; President of Alberta-based Luscar Ltd. and Kentucky-based Andalex Resources. Since 1993, Mr. Livingstone has served as President & CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia, representing the collective interests of some 40 member companies, several of whom are world leaders in coal mine development and operation. His performance driven leadership, team building and market development skills will contribute significantly to the growth of Western Canadian Coal Corp. Mr. Charles Pitcher will continue as the Chief Operating Officer as well as a director of the Corporation. Mr. John Byrne stated “the appointment of Mr. Livingstone is the most significant of a number of recent decisions by the Board of Western Canadian, aimed at transforming the Company from a junior coal exploration company to a significant metallurgical coal producer. It follows the recent agreement with GMP Securities Ltd to raise CANS10 million and the Company’s previously announced intention to list its securities on the London AIM Market.”
Ms. Kathleen Pomeroy has been appointed Vice President, Environmental and Regulatory. Ms Pomeroy brings 20 years of experience in the field of environmental and regulatory affairs within the coal industry and with BC Hydro and has led the permitting efforts for the Wolverine Project. Mr. Peter Olson, P. Eng. has been appointed Projects Manager for the Company with the responsibility of directing the engineering and contract management. Ms. Olson comes to the company with a 30 year history of northern mining construction and project management experience. In relation to the appointments the Company has granted options to purchase 915,000 shares at price of $1.20 per share.
The Company has awarded the engineering for the Wolverine Perry Creek coal preparation plant to Cochrane Engineering of Vancouver. Cochrane has a long history in the coal industry having been involved in the design of coal process plants at Builmoose Mine, Victoria Junction Plant in Cape Breton, Greenhills, Elkview Coal and Coal Mountain. PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc., a member of the PCL group of companies has been awarded the contract for plant construction.
The Corporation is presently in the final stages of the public review process for the permitting of the Wolverine Perry Creek coal project with approvals expected in the fourth quarter of this year. This would permit the commencement of the mine construction at that time. As well, a special application for a small mine coal permit is under consideration by the Corporation in the Burnt River area of northeastern BC. Such a permit would enable the company to begin production at the proposed Dillon Mine in the fourth quarter of this year.
Western Canadian Coal Corp. currently has more than 250 million tones of coal under exploration and development planning in British Columbia. Priority is on the start of construction for the development of the Wolverine Perry Creek Coal Project in the 4th quarter of 2004 leading to commercial production in the 2nd quarter of 2006.
John Byrne, Chairman