Western Canadian Coal Provides Operations Update

    VANCOUVER, Oct. 17 /CNW/ - Western Canadian Coal Corp. (TSX: WTN, WTN.DB
& WTN.WT and AIM: WTN) ("Company") announces that mining at the Willow Creek
Mine has commenced as planned. Commercial production of low-volatile PCI coal
should be available for sale early in 2009.
    Coal markets continue to be strong, with all hard coking coal production
from the Wolverine operations currently sold at approximately US$ 300 per
tonne and all low-volatile PCI coal at the Brule operation sold at
approximately US$ 248 per tonne. These coal prices are locked in to March 31,
2009. Further evidence of the strong coal markets are the recent 2009 calendar
year coking coal contract settlements by the US metallurgical coal producers
at prices similar to what other global producers have experienced for the 2008
coal year.
    The Company also advises that production for the fiscal year ending March
31, 2009 is now expected to be 3.0 million tonnes consisting of 1.45 million
tonnes of hard coking coal and 0.15 million mid-volatile PCI coal from the
Wolverine operation and 1.3 million tonnes of low-volatile PCI coal at the
Brule operation and 0.1 million tonnes of low-volatile PCI coal at the Willow
Creek mine. The temporary lower than expected production at Wolverine is
primarily due to production difficulties from continued labour shortages and
continued high stripping ratio.
    The Company also announces the review of various strategic alternatives
("Strategic Review") continues, although there is no assurance that the
Strategic Review will result in any specific strategic or financial
    John Hogg, President and CEO, comments, "With the strength of the coal
markets, along with the 15% weakening of the Canadian dollar, the Company is
generating strong cash flows and will continue to build on its strong
financial position."

    Forward-Looking Information

    This release may contain forward-looking statements that may involve
risks and uncertainties. Such statements relate to the Company's expectations,
intentions, plans and beliefs. As a result, actual future events or results
could differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking
statements. Readers are referred to the documents filed by the Company on
SEDAR. Such risk factors include, but are not limited to changes in commodity
prices; strengths of various economies; the effects of competition and pricing
pressures; the oversupply of, or lack of demand for, the Company's products;
currency and interest rate fluctuations; various events which could disrupt
the Company's construction schedule or operations; the Company's ability to
obtain additional funding on favourable terms, if at all; and the Company's
ability to anticipate and manage the foregoing factors and risks.
Additionally, statements related to the quantity or magnitude of coal deposits
are deemed to be forward-looking statements. The reliability of such
information is affected by, among other things, uncertainties involving
geology of coal deposits; uncertainties of estimates of their size or
composition; uncertainties of projections related to costs of production; the
possibilities in delays in mining activities; changes in plans with respect to
exploration, development projects or capital expenditures; and various other
risks including those related to health, safety and environmental matters.

    About Western Canadian Coal

    Western Canadian Coal Corp. produces high quality metallurgical coal from
three mines - Wolverine, Brule and Willow Creek - 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

For further information:

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

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