Friday, September 12, 2014

Northeast coal woes could have further impact on throughput numbers at Ridley Terminals

Photo from Anglo American Coal
Over the years, the north east coal fields of British Columbia have provided for one of the main sources of coal for shipment out of the Port Prince Rupert and as it has been in the past, the current drop in price for coal is having a major impact on the community of Tumbler Ridge and the coal mines that surround it.

Another round of bad news was delivered yesterday, with word of the closure of the third operating coal mine in the region this year. Yesterday Anglo American PLC announced that it will place its Peace River operations on a care and maintenance schedule at the end of the year.

September 12-- 300 people losing job as last coal mine in Tumbler Ridge shutting down (audio)
September 11-- Peace River Coal closing the doors for undetermined time
September 11-- Anglo American to shutter lat Tumbler Ridge coal mine
September 11-- B. C. coal mine suspends activity among low prices
September 11-- Another coal mine to be shuttered this year

The District of Tumbler Ridge posted a letter of response to the announcement to their website on Thursday.

Beyond the obvious effect that such announcements have on that community, the impact of declining volumes of coal from the Northeast is felt beyond that region and has already provided for drops in shipment volumes out of Ridley Terminals through this past year.

photo from RTI website
The latest performance statistics provided by the Prince Rupert Port Authority show that RTI has seen a decline of 34 per cent from numbers of last year, with the most recent report from August highlighting a decline of 56 per cent from numbers of 2013.

With more coal operations shutting down in the province, those numbers may continue to drop unless other sources of coal for shipment are found.

As well, as we outlined on the blog earlier this week, declining coal prices has been identified as one of the complicating factors when it comes to the Federal Government's plan to divest itself of Ridley Terminals.

If the slump continues and with coal mines in the Northeast shutting down as they are at the moment, the quest to take RTI off the Federal books may take a little longer to achieve than originally planned.

More items of interest on developments at Ridley Terminals can be found on our archive page.

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