DECEMBER 21, 2012
HD Mining looks beyond court proceedings
VANCOUVER - Today, HD Mining continued its participation in federal court proceedings, in which two unions seek to challenge certain temporary foreign worker authorizations. These proceedings follow on the decision of Justice Russell on December 14, 2012 to reject the unions' application for an injunction.
HD Mining regrets that the unions are continuing with these proceedings after Justice Russell refused the injunction and raised significant questions about the strength of the unions' case. HD Mining is concerned that it has been pulled into litigation that is more about the unions' concerns with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program generally, than any errors or irregularities in the authorizations issued for the Murray River Project.
HD Mining will take all steps necessary to keep the judicial review process on track, and to fully defend itself and exercise its rights under the litigation. For that reason, HD Mining has today declined to open its files and provide additional documentation in the absence of any legal obligation to do so.
"We do not understand why the unions are continuing to press this litigation after losing the injunction application," said HD Mining Chair Penggui Yan. "HD Mining believes that all parties need to move beyond this litigation and work towards the constructive development of this project and to a broader review of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program which the federal government has recently announced."
"While HD Mining is very frustrated by the unions' actions to date, we want positive long-term relationships with all parties including the unions and its members," said Mr. Yan. "We therefore strongly encourage the federal government to engage the unions in the recently announced review of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and we encourage the unions to stop this litigation."
"HD Mining is willing to work with the unions and others in developing a training curriculum for long-wall mining with Northern Lights College." Mr. Yan added. "HD Mining is also willing to consider union input and suggestions for the training and transition program to ensure HD Mining transitions to Canadian workers in the most timely, safe and effective means possible."
"We are taking these steps in good faith to try to move beyond the present situation, but rest assured we will continue to defend ourselves vigorously in court for so long as these proceedings continue." said Mr. Yan.
HD Mining has received approval to bring in temporary foreign workers for up to two years to complete underground work as part of the bulk sample phase of the Murray River Project. HD Mining has not received approval for any use of foreign workers beyond this initial stage, and the bulk sample will determine whether the full mine is technically viable and the coal is marketable. Should the Murray River Project receive environmental approval and proceed to full operations, it is anticipated that the mine would be in operation for 30 years.
Since the start of the Murray River Project, HD Mining has been employing Canadians to undertake all surface work. Surface jobs will continue to be held by Canadians throughout ground preparation, bulk sampling and full mine operations, should the project proceed. In addition to HD Mining's employees, the Murray River Project has resulted in employment for hundreds of Canadians providing services to HD Mining. So far, HD Mining has invested over $50 million, including a $15 million housing development in Tumbler Ridge.
About HD Mining
HD Mining is a Canadian company. It is owned by Huiyong Holdings (BC), who holds a 55% interest, and Canadian Dehua Lvliang Ltd., who holds a 40% minority stake. Huiyong Holdings (BC) is also a Canadian company, 100% owned by Huiyong Holdings China. Huiyong Holdings China is a private company that has nine operating mines in China. All of these mines are safe and efficient mines.