I am writing in response to the Letter to the Editor published in the July 8 edition of The Interior News.
As the letter notes, the coal at Telkwa Coal’s Tenas project is for use in steelmaking, and in particular, steel made in a blast furnace (BF) coupled with iron ore and lime. Steel is widely used in our modern society, including for infrastructure, transportation (electric vehicles and public transportation), communications, everyday household steel products, and equipment required for green energy generation (wind turbines, solar panels).
Blast furnace steel represents around 70 per cent of global steel production and almost 100 per cent of hard or high-grade steel critical to the uses mentioned above.
Currently, there is no commercially viable method for the BF steelmaking process (new steel) that doesn’t require metallurgical coal. Electric arc furnaces (EAF) are used in secondary (reused) steel production where recycled scrap is required, and the US with a growing mountain of waste steel leads the world in EAF steel production.
However, the US accounts for less than 5 per cent of global steel production with Asia accounting for up to 70 per cent. Global demand for steel greatly outweighs EAF production.
According to Wood Mackenzie (a world-renowned energy, metals, and mining research firm), the global steel production ratio of 70 per cent new steel and 30 per cent reused steel will remain beyond 2040. While there are some steel production pilot studies using alternative energy and reductant sources such as hydrogen and natural gas, these are early stages and will take decades to become operationally viable and economically sustainable.
Allegiance Coal is mandated by its shareholders to invest in metallurgical coal confident in its long-term demand coupled with a forecast decline in its supply. Telkwa Coal is well-positioned to supplement lost supply.
For us, responsible mining means the environment is the highest priority. How we operate, manage the land and water we use is carefully planned and considered, and our responsibility is to minimize any effects we may have.
Important environmental considerations, such as climate change, factor heavily into how we are planning and will operate the mine. When mining is complete, we will rehabilitate the land with the goal of establishing forest ecosystems for wildlife habitat, recreation, forest harvest in suitable areas, and traditional land uses.
This is our commitment to you.