Frequently Asked Questions
Headquartered in Tumbler Ridge, BC, Conuma Coal operates two mine sites in North Eastern British Columbia in the Peace River Coalfield (with a third in development) and has a corporate office in Vancouver. For full details see our Operations and Contact pages.
Yes. Conuma Coal Resources Limited is a stand-alone Canadian coal company formed in mid-2016 and operating since September 16, 2016. A key value of our business is recruiting and hiring locally. Conuma’s success will be a reflection on the success of our communities. A very high percentage of our workforce live in Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd.
Coal is a sedimentary rock, formed over eons as plants and other organic materials grow, die, are buried and are then subjected to the tremendous geological forces of heat and pressure.
Metallurgical coal is also known as “coking” coal. Coking coal is the feedstock for production of coke, which is itself the primary source of carbon in the process of steelmaking by the basic oxygen furnace method.
Metallurgical coal differs in use and application from “thermal” or “steaming” coal, which is consumed for energy and heating purposes and is differentiated by calorific content and other properties relating to emissions and byproducts. Coking coal, on the other hand, is a chemical feedstock that differs according to rheological and petrographic qualities.
The “grade” of coal and its “caking” ability are determined by the rank of a particular coal - a measure of volatile matter and degree of metamorphism - as well as mineral impurities and the ability of the coal to melt, swell and re-solidify when heated.
While “PCI” type coal is not often classified as a hard coking coal, it is employed as a source of energy in the BOF steelmaking process, and the high carbon content is used to replace more expensive coke in some blast furnace operations.
Coke making involves the carbonization of coal at high temperatures and under extreme pressure. Production occurs in a “battery” of coke ovens aligned in rows. Coal is loaded into the ovens and then super-heated in the absence of oxygen up to temperatures nearing 2000°F.
Deprived of oxygen, inside the coke oven the coal cannot burn; instead the coking coal melts. High temperatures burn off or “volatize” impurities (non-carbon) present in the coal, such as hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur. These volatile matters can either be collected and recovered as by-products or consumed to produce a source of heat for the coking process, which typically takes 18-24 hours. While cooling, the coal solidifies into large, porous lumps of crystalline carbon. Via the coking process, and loss of volatiles, approximately 1.5 tonnes of coking coal is required to produce 1 tonne of coke, and 0.6 tonnes of coke is required to produce 1 tonne of steel.
The quality of the resultant coke is greatly influenced by the chemical properties of the coals blended together and fed into the oven. Coke makers often blend up to twenty different coals in order to achieve the desired resultant characteristics in the coke used in the blast furnace.
Conuma and its individual employees support many projects, charities and organisations locally and globally. Some of which are featured on our responsibility page here.
If you're part of a fantastic local cause that you'd like Conuma Coal to consider supporting please reach out to us.
To learn more about the benefits of joining the Conuma Coal team, see a list of available career opportunities, and learn how to apply to join our team please visit our careers page.
We're passionate about getting our staff to where they want to be. Conuma understands maintaining a team of the right people with the right attitude is the most important asset of our business. With that said, we make every effort to provide training and cross-training where available and seek to work with our staff in helping them get to where they want to be within the company. In the past Conuma has supported limited sponsorship's for returning to school, and accommodated for dramatic changes of career path for staff seeking a new challenge.
While we welcome applications from all qualified individuals that are willing to work in Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd, the vast weighting of our recruiting effort is focused on those already local to Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd, and those interested in relocating to our two cities. Through experience we have found that applicants from the towns we operate in typically form longer term relationships with the company and provide extended benefit to the local economy.