Atrum Mining Reaches Financing Agreement for Groundhog Coal Project
In May 2015, British Columbia’s Groundhog anthracite coal project moved closer to production with a $100 million binding agreement with China Coal Technology & Engineering Group Corp (CCTEG) for the supply and finance of equipment to develop Groundhog North.
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Atrum targeted British Columbia due to its abundance of high quality metallurgical coal; well developed rail and port infrastructure with excess capacity; access to deep sea ports; competitive shipping distance to Asia; and positive government stance on mining.
The financing agreement represents a strategic partnership between Atrum, a leading Australian mining company, and CCTEG. Atrum Mining holds licences for a 1.57-billion-tonne coal resource in northwestern British Columbia. The project will deliver high-grade and ultra-high-grade anthracite to Asian buyers. CCTEG, a state-owned enterprise, is a leading operator of anthracite and coal mines in China.
The package finances the purchase of equipment that will allow Atrum to complete an initial small-scale mine and subsequent mini-wall development. Ultimate plans are for the export of three million tonnes per year of anthracite lumps and fine particles through the Port of Stewart on British Columbia’s northern coast.
Atrum Executive Chairman James Chisholm said, “Combined with received and pending receipts of approximately CAD$6 million of British Columbia Mining Exploration Tax Credits for exploration work carried out in 2013 and 2014, the company is adequately funded to continue negotiations with external financiers to secure the required development finance.”
The Ministry of International Trade’s representatives in China and British Columbia’s Special Representative in Asia help and advice to Atrum has been invaluable. They helped Atrum to participate in mining conferences and to identify and solicit potential strategic financial partners. In addition, British Columbia’s Ministry of International Trade provided Atrum with local market intelligence and support on its mining license application.
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