Western Canadian Coal Announces Fiscal 2010 Operations Update
Wolverine and Brule to Remain Operational
VANCOUVER, April 28 /CNW/ – Western Canadian Coal Corp (TSX: WTN, WTN.WT
and WTN.DB and AIM: WTN) (“Company” or “Western”) is pleased to announce it
has secured sufficient sales contracts and prices for the fiscal year ending
March 31, 2010 to continue mining operations at the Wolverine operation and Brule mine.
John Hogg, President & CEO of Western Canadian Coal Corp. comments,
“Despite the significant curtailments taken by our customers during the
current economic environment, we are pleased to achieve coal sale prices that
are the second highest on record, which speaks well to the quality of our coal
and the service we provide our customers. We are very pleased that today’s announcement allows the Wolverine Operations and Brule Mine to keep operating.”
The Company expects to produce approximately 1.7 million tonnes of
metallurgical coal from its two operating mines:
– Wolverine Operations producing approximately 1.2 million tonnes of hard coking coal
– Brule Mine producing approximately 0.5 million tonnes of low-volatile PCI (“ULV-PCI”) coal
– Willow Creek Mine continues to be in care and maintenance
The Company has the flexibility to adjust production to respond to
changes in demand for its coal.
Western expects to ship approximately 2.0 million tonnes of metallurgical
coal which consist of approximately 1.2 tonnes of its hard coking coal and
approximately 0.8 tonnes of ULV-PCI. The Company expects the average price
realized for its products to be in the range of US$120 to US$125 per tonne.
The Company has entered into forward sale contracts for US$175 million at
a rate of C$1.21 per US$1.00. These contracts mature monthly from now to April 2010. The Company’s coal sales are in US dollars, while a majority of its expenses are in Canadian dollars, thereby reducing the Company’s exposure to the fluctuations in the dollar.
During fiscal 2009, considerable waste rock was removed at the Wolverine
Operations so the stripping ratio in fiscal 2010 is expected to average 12:1.
Further cost reductions will be achieved as the mining contractor at Wolverine will be replaced with Company employees on May 19, 2009.
Aside from strict cost control initiatives and working capital
discipline, the Company’s cash preservation plan will limit fiscal 2010
capital expenditures to approximately C$3 to $4 million. The mines are in good
condition and do not require extensive capital at this point.
“While there is still uncertainty in the markets, we believe demand for
high quality metallurgical coal may improve as the year progresses. Therefore we will remain flexible to match production with demand conditions,” John Hogg
states. “We’ve worked hard over the past few months to remove the waste rock
and get our stripping ratios lowered, which allows us to operate at a lower
cost structure and remain competitive through the year.”
About Western Canadian Coal
Western Canadian Coal Corp. produces high quality metallurgical coal from
two mines (Wolverine and Brule) located in the northeast of British Columbia.
The coal is sold to many of the top steelmakers in the world. The Company also has interests in various coal properties in northern and southern British Columbia and a 50% interest to explore and develop the Belcourt and Saxon group of properties in northern BC. Currently, these properties provide the company with an estimated 15 years of coal reserves at current production
levels. For more information, please visit www.westerncanadiancoal.com
This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the
meaning of applicable securities laws. Generally, forward-looking information
can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”,
“expects”, or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”,
“estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates”, or “does not anticipate”,
or “believes” or variations of such words and phrases or statements that
certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might”, or “will be taken”, “occur”, or “be achieved”. Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the information is made, and is based on a number of assumptions and subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information.
Many of these assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within
the control of Western and there is no assurance they will prove to be
correct. Factors that could cause actual results to vary materially from
results anticipated by such forward-looking information include changes in
market conditions, variations in coal recovery rates, risks relating to
operations, fluctuating coal prices and currency exchange rates, changes in
project parameters, the possibility of unanticipated costs and expenses,
labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry, failure of plant,
equipment or processes to operate as anticipated, the business of the
companies not being integrated successfully or such integration proving more difficult, time consuming or costly than expected as well as those risk factors discussed in the Annual Information Form for the year ended March 31,2008 for Western available on www.sedar.com. Although Western has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results
to differ materially from those described in forward-looking information,
there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be
anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that
forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and
future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such
information. Western undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking
information if circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions should
change except as required by applicable securities laws. The reader is
cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
For further information: David Jan, Manager, Investor Relations &
Corporate Development, Phone: (604) 608-2692, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org