July 17, 2006

Western Canadian Coal receives EA approval for Brule mine project

Western Canadian Coal (WCC) has received an environmental assessment (EA) certificate from the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office for the Brule mine project, located 55km south of Chetwynd. This approval in principle paves the way for WCC to produce up to two million tonnes per year (Mt/yr) of pulverized coal injection (PCI) coal from the Brule mine on the Burnt River property, and approves future development of a new coal rail load-out at Falling Creek Flats in the Pine River Valley, along with associated roads and power lines.

WCC's objective is to transfer production directly from its adjacent Dillon mine, which is slated to close later this year, to the Brule mine without interruption. The company will decide whether to proceed with its plan to develop and operate the Brule project in a manner similar to the operation at the Dillon Mine if it is satisfied that PCI coal prices and transportation costs will support the development of the project, and if the other necessary permits are obtained. The $200-million project would have an 11-year lifespan.

The EA for the Brule mine concluded that WCC's proposed mitigation measures will be adequate to address issues raised by government agencies, First Nations and local communities. The EA certificate contains 14 environmental management plans and lists 122 commitments to be fulfilled by WCC throughout the project's various phases. Some of the key commitments include:

* environmental supervision and monitoring, air and dust control, and sediment and erosion control management plans during construction, to protect air quality, water quality and fisheries;

* meeting site-specific air and water quality objectives set by the BC Ministry of Environment;

* development of a wildlife protection plan to minimize potential impacts on wildlife, including grizzly bear and woodland caribou;

* development of a decommissioning and reclamation plan, incorporating wildlife and forestry end land use objectives; and

* development of health, safety and traffic management plans.

More information is available from WCC president and CEO Gary Livingstone, 604/608-2692, FAX 604/629-0075, E-mail info@westerncoal.com, Web site www.westerncoal.com, or on the BC EA Office Web site, www.eao.gov.bc.ca.

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