Tumbler Ridge mayor says federal approval of Murray River Coal is “very good news”

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TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. — For Tumbler Ridge mayor Don McPherson, the approval by the federal government of HD Mining Ltd.’s proposed Murray River Coal project is “very good news” for his community, which is just getting back in economic shape after all of its area coal mines shut down in 2014.

McPherson said that he spoke with HD Mining’s Chair Penguin Yan on Wednesday after Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced that the federal Cabinet had approved the underground coal mine, subject to 104 conditions. “It’s taken a lot longer than I was hoping, so we’re pretty pleased here in Tumbler Ridge,” said McPherson.

According to McPherson, HD Mining’s Chair said that after yesterday’s approval, the company will reevaluate the situation, including looking at the price of metallurgical coal before proceeding. When asked, McPherson said that he was not sure if the company would initially employ temporary foreign workers, as reported by the Globe and Mail in 2013, but that he is still against such a move.

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McPherson said the company was not able to provide him with a timeframe on when construction of the mine would begin, but that he has plans to speak further with HD Mining in the new year.

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