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Asian demand fuelling Western Coal production

Business in Vancouver Business today

October 4,2010

Western Coal Corp. (TSX:WTN) is flying high thanks to continued demand for metallurgical coal in Asia.

The Vancouver-based company said Monday its coal production increased 90% for its fiscal second quarter 2011 (ending September 30) when compared with the same quarter last year.
In total, the company produced 1.5 million tonnes of coal during its last quarter compared with 805,000 tonnes for the same period the year before.
The company has also increased its production guidance for fiscal 2011 (ending March 31, 2011) to 6.1 million tonnes compared with a prior full-year target of six million tonnes.
Western said the new target represents a 91% increase from the 3.2 million tonnes of coal it produced in fiscal 2010.
Keith Calder, Western's president and CEO, said the latest results were a new quarterly record for the company, and new mining equipment at mine sites means the company will be able to achieve its volume targets for the year.
"We are especially fortunate because of the proximity of our British Columbia metallurgical coal mines to the northern port of Ridley Terminals in Prince Rupert," Calder said. "Ridley Terminals is the North American coal port closest to Asia and the only major coal port in the world with excess capacity."
Metallurgical coal is a key ingredient in the steel-making process.
Western produces metallurgical coal from three mines in northeast B.C. It also operates four mines in West Virginia and another in the U.K.
Business in Vancouver sat down with Calder in June after it re-opened its Willow Creek mine in B.C. two months ahead of schedule (See "Western Coal Corp. primed for aggressive growth" - issue 1077; June 15-21).
Western's share value has increased more than 60% since the end of August. At press time, the company's shares were valued at $6.11.