11/09/2011 07:34 EST | Updated 01/09/2012 05:12 EST

B.C., China Mining Deal Worth $1.3 Billion, Includes One Secret Project

VICTORIA - Premier Christy Clark says Chinese companies have signed deals to invest $1.3 billion in two mining projects in B.C., but one of them is secret and there are lots of hurdles to overcome before work starts on either plan.

Clark signed the agreements in Beijing as part of her Asian trade mission and claims the projects could create at least 6,700 jobs.

The projects are partnerships between Chinese and Canadian firms, including Kailuan Group Ltd., Shougang Group and Canadian Dehua International Mines Group Inc.

One of the projects is a coal mine near Hudson's Hope in northeast B.C., and the provincial government says it could operate for more than 40 years and produce two million tons of coal a year.

However, the government is refusing to release details of the second project, citing confidentiality agreements.

Neither of the projects will get anywhere until they pass through environmental assessments, permit applications and consultations with local communities and First Nations, all of which could take at least two years.