Hart was appointed director and chief operating officer of the company, and will also head up wholly-owned clean coal technology subsidiary Northern Clean Fuels.
Hart has 30 years experience in the mining and energy business at Cyprus Amax Minerals, Newmont Mining, NRG Energy, Sarcoal Energy and Consol Energy. At Consol Hart worked in more than 20 underground and surface operations.
West Hawk said Hart's credentials and experience in high volume underground longwall and opencut coal mining were the perfect fit for exploiting the flat-lying stratigraphy of the anthracite coal seams of the Groundhog project, 240km north of Smithers, BC.
As head of Northern Clean Fuels, Hart will focus on clean coal technology applications within British Columbia, starting with the present opportunities at West Hawk's Australian Creek thermal coal project.
At Australian Creek the company has commissioned EBA Engineering to report on historic drillhole data and engineer an initial 20-hole drill program to advance current inferred resources to measured and indicated.
If the coal resource is sufficient the operation will supply the proposed $C800 million Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power plant and the fuel to liquids plant envisioned by Northern Clean Fuels.
"Having an accomplished mining executive of Mark Hart's calibre join our company constitutes a watershed event defining the company's evolution from a mineral exploration to a mine development company,” West Hawk president Michael Townsend said.