Coal to be sole focus of North American Gem

CANADIAN producer North American Gem is seeking to sell or develop a joint venture for its copper deposit, Louise Lake, so that it may focus exclusively on its coal mining interests.
Coal to be sole focus of North American Gem Coal to be sole focus of North American Gem Coal to be sole focus of North American Gem Coal to be sole focus of North American Gem Coal to be sole focus of North American Gem

Image courtesy of North American Gem.

Donna Schmidt

The company said it was considering offers for the property, located just west of Smithers, British Columbia, where it has already drilled 96 holes and spent about $US3.5 million for exploration.

NAG has had quite an active year in coal thus far. Earlier this month, it announced the start of production from its No. 2 auger and surface operation in Knox County Kentucky.

The mine is extracting from the Blue Gem and Jellico seams, and marks the company’s first opportunity to mine the highly sought Blue Gem.

Contract miner Kentucky Mine Partners, which obtained and staged all necessary equipment prior to the start of operations, is producing from the complex.

Initial estimates for the No. 2 mine from Blue Gem and Jellico total 8000-10,000 tons per month combined.

"Blue Gem coal is a rare and increasingly valuable seam of coal used in the production of silicon metals," company president Charles Desjardins said in late July when the final state approvals were received.

"Producing Blue Gem coal has been our primary strategic business focus; this new mine is a significant step forward for the company and we are aiming to achieve our goal of becoming a long-term Blue Gem coal producer."

The highest-priced coal grade in the US, Blue Gem coal’s value is about 200% higher than high-quality steam coal.

In addition to coal production, NAG also has interests in molybdenum and other base metals in Canada.

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