Vancouver, B.C., January 6, 2009 ? Western Canadian Coal Corp. (TSX: WTN, WTN.DB & WTN.WT and AIM: WTN) (?Company?) announces that it is planning to reduce operations at its Brule mine and at the Wolverine operation. The Brule mine, which produces low-volatile PCI coal, expects to be operating at an annual run rate of approximately 750,000 tonnes per year effective at the end of January 2009. This is down from its current run rate of 1 .3 million tonnes per year. The Wolverine operation, which produces primarily hard-coking coal, has given notice to employees that it may curtail operations effective May 18, 2009, subject to market conditions for the next coal year. Notice was also given to the contractor at Wolverine to terminate the mining operation contract. When operations at the mine resume, these will be done by the Company. The operation is currently operating at an annual run rate of 1 .6 million tonnes of coal per year.
The reduced operating rates are a result of rising inventory levels as some customers defer shipments through the next few months. With the current production curtailments taken by some customers, along with the uncertainty of the coal markets beyond April 2009, the Company has made these prudent decisions. The Company expects to operate at these rates until the current economic uncertainty improves and the demand for coal becomes clearer. When the markets do improve, the Company has the flexibility to quickly increase operating rates and also pursue its growth plans.
John Hogg, President and CEO comments, ?I emphasize these plans are contingent on what the demand of metallurgical coal will be for the next coal year. Whether we reduce operations and to what levels, will depend on the demand for our coal. We hope this will become clearer in the coming months. Until then, we continue to focus on working safely, increasing productivity and lowering costs to remain competitive through these difficult times.?
About Western Canadian Coal
Western Canadian Coal Corp. produces high quality metalurgical coal from mines 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
Forward-Looking Information: This news release contains ?forward-looking information? within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Generaly, 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 ?wil 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 materialy 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 wil prove to be correct. Factors that could cause actual results to vary materialy 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 successfuly or such integration proving more difficult, time consuming or costly than expected as wel as those risk factors discussed in the Annual In formation 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 materialy 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 wil prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materialy 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