November 24, 2012
HD Mining Invests $15 Million in Tumbler Ridge for Worker Housing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tumbler Ridge, B.C., November 24, 2012 This weekend, HD Mining Chairman and CEO Penggui Yan and Tumbler Ridge Mayor Darwin Wren held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the investment by HD Mining of over $15 million in local housing for its Murray River coal project.
This investment from HD Mining is the largest single residential development in the history of Tumbler Ridge said, Mayor Wren. Housing projects like this are a great way to get our local economy moving, it puts local construction workers and trades people to work quickly, while having many other positive spin-off effects in the region.
Following the ceremony, HD Mining held an open house that was attended by more than 50 people.
"HD Mining is committed to the community of Tumbler Ridge and we are honoured and humbled by the warm welcome we have received from the community, said Mr. Yan. We heard many positive statements about our project at our open house, and the highlight of our day was when a member of a local seniors group dropped off hand-knitted scarves and hats for our workers.
Jody Shimkus, Vice President of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs added, We anticipate that this project will have a production life of 30 years or more, so today is part of our initial phase of creating jobs and increasing commerce here in Tumbler Ridge for many years to come.
HD Mining International Ltd. is a Canadian incorporated company developing the Murray River Project, which will create 600 direct jobs and 700 indirect jobs through the construction and operating phases. In addition to the Tumbler Ridge housing investment, HD Mining has to date invested in excess of $30 million in Canadian goods and services. The company is committed to fair hiring practices, competitive pay and promoting a safe workplace.
HD Mining has also recently signed an MOU with Northern Lights College to develop a training curriculum that will help the company train local workers to work in its proposed long wall underground mining operations, the first of its kind in Canada. HDs transition plan includes eventual transition to Canadian workers.
HD Mining applied for and received approval from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to hire 201 workers under the temporary foreign worker program. In doing so, HD Mining believes it has met or exceeded all HRSDC requirements, and has been told that by officials from HRSDC. On that basis, HD Mining is in the process of hiring temporary foreign workers as well other local workers and contractors.
Before obtaining the temporary foreign worker authorizations, HD Mining undertook an extensive Canadian search. Advertisements were placed with the federal governments national jobs bank and numerous newspapers and other publications. Contrary to some allegations that the advertisements required Mandarin speakers, none of the advertisements said Mandarin was required. Most made no mention of Mandarin at all.
The Canadian advertisements related to various positions, including mining engineers, industrial electricians and underground coal mine workers. Advertised rates for these key positions ranged from $25 to $40 an hour and were consistent with the Infomine Benchmark. For a mine foreman/forewoman, salaries range from $90,000 to $130,000 annually.
As part of the application process, HD Mining developed and submitted a training and transition plan to ensure safe employment of workers and to eventually transition fully to Canadian workers. The training and transition plan was developed following consultations with provincial regulators responsible for mining health and safety matters. HD Mining has and will continue to comply with all provincial health and safety requirements.
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