The Grand Opening ceremony at the mine site of the coal mine was MC?d by Tumbler Ridge Mayor Mike Caisley. Speaking at the luncheon were representatives from both the provincial and federal governments, including the Honorable Bill Bennett, Minister of State for Mining, MLA Blair Lekstrom, and MP Jay Hill. First Nations were also represented.
Company representatives addressed the crowd, speaking of the future of brown coking coal in the mining industry, world markets, and the favourable political climate for mining both provincially and federally, which makes a mine like the Wolverine possible.
The 1.5 billion dollar northeast coal project in the 1980?s, which laid the groundwork for the community of Tumbler Ridge, the rail system and Ridley Terminals makes mining in the north economically viable.
In 2006, the cost of laying in that infrastructure would run to the billions of dollars. Accolades were given to the Harper government for preventing the fire sale of Ridley terminal in Prince Rupert. Ridley terminals and the rail system play a vital role in the production of coal in the northeast. Indeed without the rail and port in place, mining may not have been economically viable.
Mining in the 21st century is very different from the way mining was conducted in earlier times. The industry is committed to returning the landscape to its original pristine condition, and works actively with local groups to ensure that the needs of the community will be met.
Mam-o-way camp did an excellent job of catering the luncheon, the speeches were just the right length, and they were interesting and informative.
Guests were appreciative of the opportunity to tour the mine site by bus. The weather turned from sunny to windy and freezing in the afternoon, hardly a surprise in the mountains, but the wind made canceling part of the bus tour a necessity.
In all, Western Canadian Coal did a superb job of putting on the event. We welcome them, and the prosperity the mine will bring to the northwest.
A new mine is a rare event in Canada?s industry, and we are fortunate indeed to be sharing this piece of British Columbia history.