The announcement was made in Tokyo as part of Premier Clark’s trade mission, which included stops in Japan, Korea and the Philippines. “Through Canada Starts Here: the BC Jobs Plan, our government is working to grow our economy and this recent investment confirms that we are on the right track,” said Premier Clark. “Our industry partners can feel confident about their investments because of British Columbia’s low taxes, skilled workforce, and a transportation infrastructure that gets products to Asian markets quickly and efficiently.”

“Xstrata’s partnership with JX Nippon has put us in a positive position to advance the Suska Coal Project,” said Mark McManus, executive general manager, Xstrata Coal Canada. “The pre-feasibility study will involve significant expenditures on exploration and environmental studies to develop the appropriate mining solution for the delivery of vital natural resources and sustainable value for stakeholders.” The pre-feasibility study is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2013. The next step will be to undertake a detailed feasibility study and seek the necessary approvals, including assessment by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office.

“JX is very excited about its $435 million investment in Xstrata Coal British Columbia,” said Shunsaku Miyake, director, senior vice president, JX Nippon. “We believe the B.C. projects, including Suska, have significant potential for steelmaking coal production. This will allow JX to develop a new line of business and further diversify our market interests.” The Suska coal project includes coking coal reserves acquired by Xstrata in 2011 previously held by First Coal Corp. and Cline Mining.