Application for Raven coal mine withdrawn

Company CEO says it is not giving up on the plan, however

The plan for a coal mine less than 50 kilometres from downtown Qualicum Beach is dead.

Maybe.

Compliance Coal Corporation president and CEO Stephen Ellis confirmed this week the company has withdrawn its application to start the screening process for its Raven mine project, citing “misinformation that is circulating in some communities.”

Ellis told The NEWS on Wednesday the company “still wants to continue with the Raven project.” He said Compliance and its partners have invested $20 million into the plan and “you’re not just going to throw that away.”

Ellis would not go into specifics on what “misinformation” caused the company to withdrawn its application from the provincial Environment Assessment Office (EAO).

“We believe it (the misinformation) was influencing our application,” Ellis said from his office in Courtenay. “Our company believed it was in our best interest to withdraw.”

Ellis did not put any timeline on when the company may revisit the application process.

Compliance’s initial application was rejected by the EAO on May 16, 2013 and this latest application was intended to address the deficiencies in the initial application. Monday marked the end of the 30-day screening period to determine whether the new application was fit to enter final review.

“This latest move just reaffirms our view that the company is unprepared and unreliable,” Torrance Coste, Vancouver Island campaigner with the Wilderness Committee, said in a news release.

“When Compliance re-submitted the proposal a month ago, they said all of the shortcomings in the application had been addressed. It looks like they’ve wasted the government’s time – and the public’s time – yet again.”

“My guess is after getting feedback from the working group members, the EAO advised Compliance there were still significant issues/deficiencies that the EAO had identified with their application and Compliance decided to withdraw their application at the 11th hour,” said John Snyder, president of CoalWatch Comox Valley Society. “In my view, these two failed attempts at getting an application through to the next review stage, raises serious questions . . .”

“I suppose that after addressing the issues raised by the EAO, Compliance may wish to resubmit another application,” added Snyder. “However, they’ll still be facing the fact that there’s no social licence for their project, and the reality of moving this ill-advised project forward faces an ever- increasing headwind.”

Snyder said CoalWatch will continue to monitor future developments on the proposed Raven Coal Mine Project and make additional information available to the public when it becomes available.

“Finally, I’d like to acknowledge all of the people who have voiced their concerns and opposition to this massive coal mine project over the past five-plus years. From writing letters, going to rallies, supporting our CoalWatch fundraising dinners and placing lawn signs, please know that your efforts have made a difference.”

On its website and in NEWS stories, Compliance claimed the proposed Raven project would contribute approximately $1.1 billion to the economies of the surrounding regions. Compliance said 200 construction jobs and 350 “well-paying, full-time mine, port and transportation jobs” would be created if the project was approved. The proposed mine site is a few kilometres west of Buckley Bay.

Just Posted

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)
Expert says 2 sets of parents producing rare white ravens in mid-Island area

One of the iconic birds is currently recovering at wildlife centre after being rescued

Flowers planted along Highway 19 in downtown Parksville. (Submitted photo)
City of Parksville plants more than 15,000 annual bedding plants

Residents encouraged to take flower photos and post to social media

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

Most Read