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The Ridley bulk-handing facility for coal on Ridley Island in Prince Rupert is being expanded even as China's demand for the fuel wanes as its steel making declines

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Canada is betting big on higher coal exports to China, which is a key customer of metallurgical coal, a vital ingredient in the making of steel.

JOHN LEHMANN/JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

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A ship in port at the Ridley terminal coal port. The push to expand the facility is tempered by the fact that demand for coal has ebbed as China experiences a marked economic slowdown in steel making in recent months.

JOHN LEHMANN/JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

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Workers make upgrades to the Ridley terminal coal port, part of a $90-million expansion.

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The Ridley terminal’s capacity to unload coal is being increased in a four-year, multimillion-dollar effort to double exports to 24 million tonnes a year.

JOHN LEHMANN/JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

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The ongoing construction at the Ridley coal terminal does not suggest deeper worries about a commodities crash, as producers continue to expand their mining efforts.

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The Ridley bulk-handing facility for coal on Ridley Island in Prince Rupert. Approval of the first phase of funding for the expansion of the Crown corporation’s terminal followed long lobbying by an industry that is intent on finding a way to ship more product to its crucial Chinese customers.

JOHN LEHMANN/JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

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A ship in port at the Ridley terminal coal port. The expansion at Ridley would allow it to rival Canada’s No. 1 coal export terminal, Westshore, which moves more than 20 million tonnes a year from Delta, just south of Vancouver.

JOHN LEHMANN/JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

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