Fortune Minerals, POSCO form coal JV in BC

A Canadian coal junior has teamed up with one of the world's largest steel producers to move  the Mount Klappan Metallurgical Coal Project in northern British Columbia into production.

Fortune Minerals said yesterday that it has formed a joint venture with POSCO Klappan Coal Ltd. and POSCO Canada Ltd. (POSCAN) — a subsidiary of South Korean steelmaking giant POSCO.

Fortune will have 80% ownership in the JV while POSCAN will have 20%.  POSCAN will contribute $154 million of the project's capital costs, and an additional $17.2 million once certain milestones are met.

Mount Klappan is a large deposit of metallurgical coal, with measured resources of 107.9 million tonnes, indicated resources of 123.0 million tonnes, and inferred resources of 359.5 million tonnes. The open-pit mine is targetting an initial production rate of 3 million tonnes per year, with the coal loaded out of Ridley Terminals in Prince Rupert. $86 million has been spent on the project so far.

According to the press release: 

Robin Goad, President and CEO of Fortune, commented, "We are extremely proud that Mount Klappan has attracted a world-class organization like POSCO as a major investor and strategic partner.  This transaction will allow for accelerated development of the Project and is anticipated to provide 100% of required funding to complete more detailed engineering and design studies as well as permitting and stakeholder consultations.  It is anticipated that Fortune will not be required to contribute any further funding until permitting is complete and prior to the commencement of construction.  Additionally, our post-transaction levered after-tax NPV (8%) of Fortune's 80% share of Mount Klappan is estimated at $601 million at a $175 per tonne PCI price, and represents only a fraction of the total resource."

Yong Keun Kim, President of POSCAN, said "We are very pleased to invest in the Mount Klappan Project, which we see as one of the world's premier coal development projects and a future key supplier of premium coal products to the global steel industry.  This transaction expands our presence in North America, which already includes investments in the Mount Hope Molybdenum Project and Elk Valley Coal."