The Chinook Project is located within the Front Ranges of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, in the Crowsnest Pass of southwest Alberta. The project is made up of two large areas, Chinook South (south of Coleman) and Chinook Vicary (north of Coleman), over approximately 40km of strike length.
The Chinook Project covers an area of approximately 10,000 ha, and contains three significant historical underground mines (Vicary, McGillivray and International).
The main rail line, operated by Canadian Pacific Railway, travels through the project and provides direct access to coal export terminals in Vancouver.
Montem Resources purchased the Chinook Project in 2016 and has been utilizing historic information from the previous mines to update historic resource estimates and complete preliminary engineering studies. In Q4 2019 Montem completed a concept study, known as a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) to guide the strategic development of this potentially large-scale project.
The PEA utilized the 2018 JORC resource estimates of 118Mt and associated geological models as its design basis. This resource estimates have since been updated to 149Mt, and the PEA will be updated in 2020.
Preliminary Economic Assessment Results (current Q3 2019)
|Coal Type||Hard Coking Coal|
|Mining method||Open cut|
|Strip Ratio||7.5:1 (ROM basis)|
|Operating cost||US$80/t FOB|
Note: Based on 2019 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) Results
The Mist Mountain Formation of the Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous Kootenay Group is the main coal bearing formation in the region. Coals of the Mist Mountain Formation outcrop at Chinook in a general north-south direction for a strike length of approximately 40km. Depending on the area of the project there are up to five major economic coal horizons in the Mist Mountain Formation at Chinook. The principal coal seams, in descending order are the number 5, 4a, 4, 3 and 2 seams at Chinook South and the number 5, 4a, 4 and 2 seams at Chinook Vicary.
Estimated resources total 149Mt, with an additional 125-450Mt exploration target (JORC).
Montem Resources – In-Place Coal Resources (JORC) Million Tonnes
Exploration and Planning
Over the next two years, Montem plans to undertake extensive drill programs at both Chinook South and Chinook Vicary. The exploration will be designed to facilitate a Preliminary Feasibility Study. Concurrent to the exploration, Montem is conducting engineering and environmental studies that will guide the strategic development of the project.
Baseline environmental studies provide a thorough understanding of the existing environmental conditions of the project. Assessments include air quality, noise, surface and ground water, local vegetation, soil, land resources, recreational infrastructure and opportunities. Local fish and wildlife and their habitats are part of the focus, including sensitive species such as Westslope Cutthroat Trout, Whitebark pine, and native fescue grasslands, among others.