The last mine in the town closed in 2015, causing mass unemployment
Coal could be making a comeback in Tumbler Ridge as a West Virginia company hopes to purchase three of the shuttered mines.
Tom Clarke of E.R.P Compliant Fuels says offers have already been made to every unemployed coal miner still living in the community and company representatives are working to get the closed mines operational. “We’ve probably got a dozen people up there today and we were coordinating rewiring the phones last night,” said Clarke.
Mayor Don McPherson says it’s welcome news following a series of mine closures over the last few years. The community’s last mine closed at the beginning of 2015 resulting in soaring unemployment.
The three closed mines would employ hundreds of people in northeastern B.C. if the sale goes through. “It’d be awesome for us, just the fact that somebody is looking at buying one of those mines, means a lot,” he said.
“But then when you look at the planning, of opening part of it… that’s really big.”
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