The agency said late last week that Teck Resources had been issued a Mines Act permit amendment for the Quintette open pit operation, located about 15 kilometers (nine miles) southeast of Tumbler Ridge.
While it is still subject to a final sanction decision by the producer, the capital cost if approved is projected to be $C860 ($US818) million and provide more than 500 full-time jobs for the region.
The mine was last ran from 1982 to 2000.
Coal from the mine, should it reopen as anticipated in 2014, would be transported by rail to ports in Prince Rupert for export.
Teck owns 100% of the project and said that the second life of Quintette should result in about 3 million tonnes of metallurgical coal production annually.
Minister for Community Development Bill Bennett said provincial government officials consulted with the Saulteau First Nations, West Moberly First Nations, McLeod Lake Indian Band, Doig River First Nation, Halfway River First Nation and Prophet River First Nations during their review of the project.
He said First Nations would continue to be engaged throughout the life of the mine.
The BC Ministry of Jobs said mineral exploration and mining were important economic drivers for British Columbia noting that production value of the province’s mining industry was approximately $C8.3 billion last year.
“Since the BC Jobs Plan was released, two new mines have begun production; four more are permitted or under construction – including Quintette - and the province has approved six major expansions of existing mines,” the agency said.
The goal of the BC Jobs Plan is to open eight mines and expand nine others in the province by 2015.
“This is another important step towards achieving the mining goals we've set out in our BC Jobs Plan,” Bennett said.
“Our government's number-one priority is jobs and keeping our economy growing, and this permit approval is the next step towards ensuring that many more families will be supported by full-time, well-paying jobs in the province."