Western Canadian Coal making plans to reduce operations at the Brule mine and Wolverine operation

    VANCOUVER, Jan. 6 /CNW/ - Western Canadian Coal Corp. (TSX: WTN, WTN.DB &
WTN.WT and AIM: WTN) ("Company") announces that it is planning to reduce
operations at its Brule mine and at the Wolverine operation. The Brule mine,
which produces low-volatile PCI coal, expects to be operating at an annual run
rate of approximately 750,000 tonnes per year effective at the end of January
2009. This is down from its current run rate of 1.3 million tonnes per year.
The Wolverine operation, which produces primarily hard-coking coal, has given
notice to employees that it may curtail operations effective May 18, 2009,
subject to market conditions for the next coal year. Notice was also given to
the contractor at Wolverine to terminate the mining operation contract. When
operations at the mine resume, these will be done by the Company. The
operation is currently operating at an annual run rate of 1.6 million tonnes
of coal per year.
    The reduced operating rates are a result of rising inventory levels as
some customers defer shipments through the next few months. With the current
production curtailments taken by some customers, along with the uncertainty of
the coal markets beyond April 2009, the Company has made these prudent
decisions. The Company expects to operate at these rates until the current
economic uncertainty improves and the demand for coal becomes clearer. When
the markets do improve, the Company has the flexibility to quickly increase
operating rates and also pursue its growth plans.
    John Hogg, President and CEO comments, "I emphasize these plans are
contingent on what the demand of metallurgical coal will be for the next coal
year. Whether we reduce operations and to what levels, will depend on the
demand for our coal. We hope this will become clearer in the coming months.
Until then, we continue to focus on working safely, increasing productivity
and lowering costs to remain competitive through these difficult times."

    About Western Canadian Coal

    Western Canadian Coal Corp. produces high quality metallurgical coal from
mines located in the northeast of British Columbia. The coal is sold to many
of the top steelmakers in the world. The Company also has interests in various
coal properties in northern and southern British Columbia and a 50% interest
to explore and develop the Belcourt and Saxon group of properties in northern
BC. Currently, these properties provide the company with an estimated 15 years
of coal reserves at current production levels. For more information, please
visit www.westerncanadiancoal.com.

    Forward-Looking Information

    This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the
meaning of applicable securities laws. Generally, forward-looking information
can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans",
"expects", or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled",
"estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", or "does not anticipate",
or "believes" or variations of such words and phrases or statements that
certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might", or "will
be taken", "occur", or "be achieved". Forward-looking information is based on
the opinions and estimates of management at the date the information is made,
and is based on a number of assumptions and subject to a variety of risks and
uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to
differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information.
Many of these assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within
the control of Western and there is no assurance they will prove to be
correct. Factors that could cause actual results to vary materially from
results anticipated by such forward-looking information include changes in
market conditions, variations in coal recovery rates, risks relating to
operations, fluctuating coal prices and currency exchange rates, changes in
project parameters, the possibility of unanticipated costs and expenses,
labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry, failure of plant,
equipment or processes to operate as anticipated, the business of the
companies not being integrated successfully or such integration proving more
difficult, time consuming or costly than expected as well as those risk
factors discussed in the Annual Information Form for the year ended March 31,
2008 for Western available on www.sedar.com. Although Western has attempted to
identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results
to differ materially from those described in forward-looking information,
there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be
anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that
forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and
future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such
information. Western undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking
information if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should
change except as required by applicable securities laws. The reader is
cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.

For further information:

For further information: David Jan, Manager, Investor Relations &
Corporate Development, Phone: (604) 608-2692, Email: djan@westerncoal.com

Organization Profile


More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890