North Coal wants future buyers to trace the ‘green’ features of its steelmaking coal

Michel coal project in British Columbia. (Image courtesy of North Coal).

Canada’s North Coal announced that it has partnered with UK-based sustainable supply chain traceability provider Circulor to establish traceability, including dynamic CO2 and environmental, social and governance tracking, for its metallurgical coal product.

North Coal is developing the Michel coal project, an all-new mine in British Columbia that is expected to have a 1400-hectare footprint and that, once in full production, should generate 2 million clean tonnes of steelmaking coal per year for about 25 years.

According to North Coal, its engineers have developed systems to protect the surrounding water and land by diverting water around the mine site; setting up a passive water treatment process that involves using saturated rock fills and creating suboxic rock storage facilities to minimize the elements that enter the waterways; and setting up an active water treatment process where necessary, so that the liquid is safe for the ecosystem before it is released.

The company is also creating engineered landforms that copy natural processes to recreate a stable ecosystem that inhibits the movement of selenium and other toxic substances while working towards reducing its own use of selenium.

Michel is also set up to leverage BC’s clean hydroelectricity supply and apply carbon offsets to reach a goal of net-zero scope-1 and scope-2 emissions.

With the goal of making sure prospective off-takers are aware of all these features, the miner engaged Circulor to conduct an investigative project and design a solution that allows its future market products to transparently demonstrate the firm’s sustainability performance.

“This data is increasingly critical to steel manufacturers’ growing imperative to ensure their supply chain has the lowest possible CO2 emissions and other leading ESG performance metrics such as Indigenous engagement and environmental management,” the Canadian company said in a media statement.

As a proof of concept, Circulor’s solution will be used during North Coal’s development phase stage by tracking met coal samples from Michel to initial offtake customers and through to end-users, such as the construction or automotive sectors. This will be scaled up and made available to all customers once full production begins in 2025.

“We are very excited to partner with Circulor and support the transition of the steel industry’s value chain to net-zero carbon and the Sustainable Development Goals more broadly,” Ian Maxwell, North Coal’s CEO, said in the brief. “To do that, we first need to demonstrate transparency in where raw materials are coming from and their associated ESG and Indigenous footprint, to make transformational improvements. Partnering with Circulor allows us, and our future customers, to do this.”

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