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Cranbrook Chamber Endorses Coal Alliance

May 14, 2015

MEDIA RELEASE
CRANBROOK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2015

CHAMBER SUPPORTS COAL ALLIANCE

The Board of Directors of the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce unanimously passed the following resolution at their May 13, 2015, meeting;

That the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce write a letter to the Coal Alliance supporting their efforts to development and disseminate information regarding the Coal Industry.

Members of the board had met previously with representatives of the Coal Alliance and the entire board subsequently reviewed a staff report prior to making their decision.

Chamber Executive Director, David D. Hull, commented, “The sentiment, prior to the vote was that given the importance of the coal industry to the BC and East Kootenay economy, and the contribution metallurgical grade coal makes to producing necessary and ancillary goods, it was imperative that a balanced, factual portrayal of the coal industry in its entirety was presented.”

The Coal Alliance is a collective of representatives from the coal industry, including mines, marine terminals, railways, industry associations, organized labour and others who support the mining and shipping of coal in British Columbia. Their objective is to ensure British Columbians have the facts about the coal industry – how coal is safely moved and the benefits coal provides to the world around us.

“We encourage the Coal Alliance to continue their efforts to ensure that the general public, special interest groups, and the media understand and have a sound grasp of the entire spectrum of the coal industry as it relates to our economy and the production of steel component products,” said Hull

BACKGROUND

COAL – 7,678 million metric tonnes of coal is produced each year around the world. Canada’s production is approximately 67.1 million tonnes, or 0.87 percent of global production.

CANADIAN COAL – Canada is one of about 35 countries that produce coal. While Canada’s production is relatively small, Canadian coal is highly sought after because of its low sulfur and ash properties and high caloric value which makes it a higher quality coal.

BC COAL – Coal has been mined in BC for more than a century.

Today, ten of the 24 Canadian coal mines are located in BC. The coal mined in BC is primarily metallurgical grade coal, a key ingredient in the production of steel.

EAST KOOTENAY COAL – The East Kootenay Coalfields comprise three separate fields extending from the Montana border northward and known respectively as Flathead, Crowsnest, and Elk Valley coalfields. These are the most important coalfields in the province having produced over 500 million tonnes of mainly metallurgical coal since 1898.

All the coal mined in the East Kootenay coalfields is extracted in open pit operations and is destined for export.

Canada’s coal supply chain operates under strict environmental and safety regulations that are among the most stringent in the world.

The industry adheres to regulatory permits and requirements set by authorities, including Federal, Provincial, Regional and Municipal governments and Port Metro Vancouver.
These provisions ensure that BC coal is produced, shipped, and managed in a safe manner.
Coal is an inert mineral that is not considered a dangerous or hazardous material by Transport Canada and is safely handled by thousands of workers every day.

COAL ECONOMY – Coal generates over $3.2 billion annually in economic activity in B.C. Coal creates over 26,000 B.C. jobs in mining, transport, equipment, and other related sectors.

Coal produces about $715 million in public revenues for all levels of government that go to support critical services such as health care and education.
Coal is Port Metro Vancouver’s principal export and accounts for approximately 25% of the Port’s total volume each year.

There are over 4,000 employees in the coal industry in the Elk Valley with the average wage of $95,000 a year.

Teck Resources alone infuses over $1 billion annually into the B.C. and over $470 million of that into the Metro Vancouver area per year.

COAL IS NECESSARY – Steelmaking coal, which comprises of approximately 65% of the coal mined in BC, is a key ingredient in the production of steel, which is critical to many of the things society relies on daily including but not limited to buildings, vehicles, rapid transit and everyday household items.

COAL IS GREEN – Steel plays a critical role in green energy production. Whether it is a wind turbine, solar panel, tidal power system or bio-energy infrastructure – it all requires steel. For example, 100 tonnes of steelmaking coal is required to produce the 185 tonnes of steel used in a typical wind turbine.

COAL POWERS THE WORLD – Worldwide, the use of coal as an energy source remains crucial to many developed and developing countries. 40 percent of the world’s population still relies on coal for energy – for light, heat and other necessary daily needs.

Today, the world’s electricity is created from the following sources:
• 42% coal
• 21% natural gas
• 15% hydroelectric
• 14% nuclear
• 5% oil
• 3% other renewables
CONTACT
David D. Hull, Executive Director
250 426 5914
davidhull@cranbrookchamber.com

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