Montem Resources (ASX: MR1) has revealed its Canada-based Tent Mountain project remains unaffected by Government of Alberta’s latest coal policies – as coking coal prices hit unprecedented highs.
The Government of Alberta released coal policy committee reports earlier this month after a review of the Alberta 1976 Coal Development Policy.
Under the recommendations, Tent Mountain has been designated an advanced coal project – meaning it is unaffected by additional exploration and development restrictions.
As a result, Montem will continue permitting processes to restart the existing coking coal mine in parallel to an economic analysis on transitioning Tent Mountain to a renewable energy complex.
“We will continue to work with regulators, First Nations and all stakeholders to establish a suitable path for the mine restart,” Montem managing director and chief executive officer Peter Doyle said.
“The world is demanding responsibly sourced steelmaking raw materials and the Tent Mountain mine represents an important new source of high-quality steelmaking coal (also known as coking coal).”
Meanwhile, the economic analysis on the renewable energy complex is expected to progress throughout the first half of 2022.
Once all information is at hand, Montem will compare the investment potential of both development pathways for Tent Mountain.
Mr Doyle said the renewable energy complex at Tent Mountain represented an “important alternate development pathway”.
“We look forward to finalising the engineering design and economic analysis of Tent Mountain renewable energy complex later this year and making an informed decision on which development pathway to pursue at Tent Mountain,” he added.
Tent Mountain coal mine
Montem is in advanced stages of planning the restart of coal mining at Tent Mountain, which last operated in 1983.
The company completed feasibility studies on the mine’s restart in 2020 and has since worked to optimise the mine plan, water management systems and closure strategies to underpin an Environmental Impact Assessment.
As the world recovers from COVID-19, global steelmaking coal markets have outperformed most other commodities.
Coking coal prices have reached unprecedented levels over the last six months – up to 50% higher than previous records and fetching around US$450 per tonne (A$618/t) in February.
Russia’s war on the Ukraine has also pushed steelmaking coal prices to unprecedented heights.
Additionally, demand for steel remains strong.