The move is intended to accommodate the explorer’s expanding Vista thermal coal project in Alberta which following an optimization study earlier this year was projected to produce 12 million tonnes of coal per annum.
An updated agreement with Ridley adds 2.2Mtpa of throughput capacity beginning in 2017 to Coalspur’s existing 9.5Mtpa of port allocation with the British Columbia port operator.
The deal represents an attempt to compensate for an earlier 4Mtpa agreement with the terminal company which failed to receive government approval. However, Coalspur says the 11.7Mtpa of total capacity resulting from the current deal “substantially satisfies” Vista’s requirements.
The explorer also increased its rail haulage capacity through a revised memorandum of understanding with CN Rail.
The arrangement lifts Coalspur’s allocated rail haulage from 11.2Mtpa to 12Mtap and is expected to be concluded in 2012.
“The latest agreement with Ridley Terminals secures our port allocation requirements for Vista in an existing facility and the revised MoU with CN provides for matching rail capacity,” Coalspur president and chief executive Gill Winckler said.
“We are working closely with CN on definitive agreements which, once finalized, are expected to complete the infrastructure requirements to export coal from Vista to the Asia Pacific market.”
Earlier this year, Coalspur increased Vista’s measured and indicated coal resource by 404% to 471Mt and confirmed the site’s potential for longwall operation.
The company said the project has the potential to be the largest export thermal coal mine in North America, covering approximately 9984 hectares.