Leaving on a semi, don’t know when they’ll be back again

Trent Ernst, Editor


A year after Walter Energy idled its Canadian Operations, they’re still watching the coal prices, waiting for them to show some signs of recovery.

“That’s all we can do,” says Vice President of Communications William Stanhouse. “We continue to evaluate the situation, but until we see something more positive, that’s where we are at.”

Walter recently served notice to 23 employees at their Brule Mine near Chetwynd.

For the last year, a small crew of employees have been working to load the stockpiled coal onto trains to ship to market, but as of May 26, says Stanhouse, those stockpiles will be depleted.

“We still have some stockpiles,” says Stanhouse, “but as of May 26, the stockpiles at Brule will be exhausted.”

There has been no active mining at Brule since April of last year.

There are currently 37 employees at the company’s Willow Creek mine, clearing stockpiles, but the company may just decide to let the coal sit there if the prices continue to fall.

At the Wolverine Mine, there are eight people still at work, maintaining the mine, but not moving coal.

There are rumours of the company selling its Canadian assets but Stanhouse says this is not being discussed at this time.

While coal prices have dipped recently, Stanhouse remains optimistic that the market will rebound. “It’s just a question of when.”