Canadian miner brings first group of foreign workers since last year labour dispute

HD Mining, the Vancouver-based company that sparked controversy in October last year with a scheme to hire up to 2,000 Chinese miners for its proposed $300 million northern B.C. coal mine, is expected as many as 30 miners to arrive from China in the next few weeks.

They will be the first foreign workers to arrive at Murray River since a Federal Court ruled in May the company could continue with its plans of bringing Chinese miners, despite the opposition of two labour unions. They challenged federal government decisions allowing an initial group of 201 Chinese miners to be employed at the coal project.

HD Mining is not currently booking media interviews with the workers and intends to focus on its project, company’s spokeswoman Jody Shimkus told The Globe and Mail.

They are likely to be subject to considerable interest since they arrival prompted Canadian authorities last year not only to investigate the circumstances under which foreign workers were being brought into the country, but also to review its entire temporary foreign worker program.