WCCC incurs short-term cost for long-term gain

EXPLORATION expenses and capital equipment and project construction costs ate into Western Canadian Coal’s third quarter results – the company reporting a net loss of $C4 million for the three months to December 31, 2005.
WCCC incurs short-term cost for long-term gain WCCC incurs short-term cost for long-term gain WCCC incurs short-term cost for long-term gain WCCC incurs short-term cost for long-term gain WCCC incurs short-term cost for long-term gain

Courtesy Western Canadian Coal Corp.

Angie Tomlinson

The quarter loss included exploration expenses of $4.3 million and spending on capital equipment and project construction of $47.3 million. Operating profit was $3.7 million.

Sales for the quarter were 82,979 tonnes of pulverised coal injection coal at an average price of $118.78 (US$101.73) per tonne.

Lower shipments during the quarter were due to higher customer inventories during 2005 and seasonal reductions in crude steel production.

Much of WCCC’s efforts during the quarter were directed towards construction of a coal preparation plant at Wolverine to handle 3 million tonnes of hard coking coal per annum. Initial throughput is expected to commence in July 2006 at the rate of 2.4Mtpa.

Earlier this year, the company applied to the British Columbia Government for an increase in the allowable production at Wolverine from 1.6Mt to 2.4Mt, with a decision expected this quarter.

On completion of construction at Wolverine, WCCC expects to produce about 1.5Mt of hard coking coal during its fiscal year ended March 31, 2007. This coal will be sold into the growing seaborne metallurgical coal markets, with output increased to 3Mt within 24 months.

The increase will include production from future mining activities at the nearby Hermann North deposit and the Perry Creek underground resource.

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