Chinook Project

Montem’s Chinook Project is located  in the Crowsnest Pass of southwest Alberta. The project is made up of two areas, Chinook Vicary (north of Coleman) and Chinook South (south 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 Chinook Project is located within Category 4 lands of the 1976 Alberta Coal Development Policy.

The main rail line, operated by Canadian Pacific Railway, travels through the project, and provides direct access to coal export terminals in Vancouver.

Montem purchased the Chinook Project in 2016 and has been utilizing historical information from the previous mines, as well as information gathered during a 2020 exploration program, to update historical resource estimates and complete preliminary engineering studies.

In 2021, Montem completed a positive Scoping Study to guide the strategic development of the Chinook Project. The Scoping Study identified the most prospective areas for mine development at Chinook Vicary. Results from the Scoping Study indicate an economically and technically viable project with upside, justifying progressing to a Pre-Feasibility Study.


Chinook Project Location


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 and 2 seams at Chinook Vicary and the number 5, 4a, 4, 3 and 2 seams at Chinook South .

Estimated resources total 172Mt, with an additional 125 – 450Mt exploration target (JORC).

Chinook Vicary Cross Section B-B

Exploration and Planning

Over the next two years, Montem plans to undertake extensive drill programs at 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.

In the fall of 2020, Montem completed a successful 13 drillhole exploration program at Chinook Vicary to gather information on coal seam thickness and structure, coking coal quality and to guide mine design. Results from the 2020 drill program were promising, confirming the occurrence of near surface, structurally thickened zones of coal in areas previous classified as Exploration Targets. Coal quality testing results from the exploration program established the Chinook Vicary product coal as a Tier 1 Hard Coking Coal.

Product Coal Quality

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Chinook Vicary (Indicative) 9.121.4 0.48 0.06770
PLV HCC “Benchmark” 9.3 21.50.500.04571

Reference: S&P Global Platts, April 2020

Chinook Project JORC Coal Resources

Chinook Vicary56.451.3107.7
Chinook South51.213.164.3
Mineral Resources have been estimated according to JORC 2012 standards

Chinook Project JORC Coal Exploration Target

Exploration Target
Chinook Vicary125 – 450
Chinook Vicary Exploration Target upper range (larger tonnage) generated using a 20:1 stripping ratio cut-off; lower range (smaller tonnage) generated by restricting the upper range to a 300m depth cut-off.

The Exploration Target has been defined for Chinook Vicary in areas where there is insufficient data to estimate a Mineral Resource. The potential quantity and grade of the Exploration Target is conceptual in nature and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of Mineral Resources. The Exploration Target is not reported as part of any Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves.

Chinook Project Steelmaking Coal Resources and Exploration Target

Environment and Permitting

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, and 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, Limber pine, and native fescue grasslands, among others.

Once it is established that there is an economically viable resource at the Chinook Project, work will commence on obtaining the appropriate government approvals and permits. The exploration, environmental monitoring, and permitting process is anticipated to take approximately five years.

Drill rig at Chinook Vicary
Field tour of the Chinook Project