Vancouver — Robust coal prices pushed Hillsborough Resources (HLB-T) into the black for both the last quarter of 2004 and the entire year. The Vancouver-based company earned $1.8 million last year, up from $874,336 in 2003.
Hillsborough sold 492,885 tonnes of coal in 2004, up from 284,371 tonnes in 2003. The company produces thermal coal at its Quinsam mine near Campbell River, B.C. A barge-loading facility near the mine was recently bought for $3.7 million.
Elsewhere, Hillsborough is developing the Crossville underground thermal coal mine in Tennessee and applying for a small-mine permit for its Bingay surface project in the Elk Valley of southeastern British Columbia.
Also, the company recently acquired 11 properties in the Tumbler Ridge district of the province. Most contain coking coal, except for the Wapiti property, which contains thermal. At the Five Cabin property, drilling is endeavouring to upgrade historic resources (estimated at more than 600 million tonnes) for mine-planning purposes.