BC anthracite project renamed to avoid environmental confusion

21st August 2012 By: Henry Lazenby - Creamer Media Deputy Editor: North America

TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Canada-based project developer Fortune Minerals and its joint venture (JV) partner PosCan on Tuesday said the Mount Klappan anthracite metallurgical coal project, in north-west British Columbia had been renamed the Arctos anthracite project.

Fortune CEO Robin Goad told Mining Weekly Online that the name change was necessary to declutch the project from the larger area in which the project is situated.

The project principals have learned, through discussions with the Tahltan Aboriginal people over the past several years, that the Klappan area encompasses a vast region beyond that of Mount Klappan or the Klappan river watershed.

“The former name caused some to have the incorrect impression that the entire mountain would be mined or that we would impact the entire Klappan watershed. As we move through the environmental assessment (EA) process it is important that impacts and benefits of the project are accurately communicated and any confusion resulting from the name is reduced,” he said.

He explained that the use of the name Klappan could give the incorrect impression that the project would affect the entire area. A better appreciation of the significant spiritual and cultural importance of this area to the Tahltan and Iskut people contributed to the removal of the word Klappan from the project and JV names.

Goad added that he expected the name change to better reflect the attributes of the project to the community and demonstrate to investors the continued progress that Fortune was making as it advanced its two significant development-stage assets.

“The new name ensures that information on this project is clearer and can be better understood, but we hope that it also helps us take one of many small steps towards enduring strong relationships with the populations who reside in our operating regions,” PosCan president Yong Keun Kim said in a statement.

The term Ursus arctos refers to the brown bear, and the Greek word 'arctos' was chosen because the bear is an enduring symbol of both strength and confidence, Fortune stated.

The company is currently engrossed in updating the reserves and economics for the Arctos project, the results of which were expected “soon”.

The Arctos anthracite JV, of which Fortune owns 80% and the world’s third-largest steelmaker, South Korea’s Pohang Iron & Steel Company’s (Posco’s) Canadian subsidiary Poscan owns 20%, had retained Marston Canada, a division of Golder Associates to update the geological model, coal reserves and feasibility study for the Lost Fox deposit area of the Arctos project.

The updated Marston study would incorporate the results of additional drilling and survey data that was conducted earlier by Fortune, as well as updated coal price assumptions that are anticipated to materially impact the reserves for the proposed mine. The new reserves and updated feasibility study are expected to be complete in the third quarter of the year.

In July the company said that production from its flagship Arctos project would be delayed by a year to 2016, as a result of permitting delays.

“Fortune is targeting near-term milestones that are among the most significant in the company’s history. While advancing Arctos through updated feasibility work, the company is also approaching the end of the EA review process to permit our Nico project,” Goad told Mining Weekly Online.

The Nico gold/cobalt/bismuth/copper project, located in Canada's Northwest Territories, is also being advanced as a fully integrated operation with its own hydrometallurgical plant to beneficiate the mined materials.

Goad added that the company was working to secure project financing for both projects through strategic partnerships.

The company’s stock traded up 1.61% on the TSX on Tuesday at 63 Canadian cents apiece.