09/25/2013 06:59 EDT | Updated 11/25/2013 05:12 EST

Blair Lekstrom Hired: Former B.C. Minister Takes Job With HD Mining

CHETWYND, B.C. - The mining firm once embroiled in a dispute over foreign workers has hired a former political heavyweight to help it build a coal mine in northern B.C.

Blair Lekstrom, the former energy and mines minister in the B.C. Liberal government, has been hired by HD Mining International Ltd.

In letters sent to the District of Chetwynd and the Peace River Regional District, Penggui Yan, the Chairman of HD Mining, said that Lekstrom had agreed to work with the company to help construct the new coal mine.

Yan says in the letters — which were posted on the districts' websites — that Lekstrom will use his local perspective and experience to help the company engage with the community.

HD Mining has been given approval to extract coal samples from its proposed project near Tumbler Ridge, in northeastern B.C.

Earlier this year, the company won a Federal Court battle over its plans to bring in more than 200 temporary foreign workers from China.

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