Directors of company proposing Raven Coal mine resign en masse

Coal Watch president said there's still one step remaining before project can be declared officially dead

With the en masse resignation of its board of directors, Compliance Energy Corporation has signalled the end of the proposed Raven Coal Mine project, said the president of a Mid-Island watchdog group.

Compliance announced in a news release Friday that its board of directors, in its entirety, had resigned. The company also announced its major Korean and Japanese partners have withdrawn from the project and that its only secured creditor has demanded repayment of a loan.

In the news release, the company said the provincial Environmental Assessment Office’s “protracted process of developing an acceptable Application Information Requirements for the project, followed by the EAO’s resistance in accepting a fully developed application for stakeholder review, has made it impossible to raise further funds, attract alternate partners or to sell the project.”

John Snyder, president of Comox-based Coal Watch said Monday it’s now up to the EAO to put the final nail in the coffin of this project. For the final chapter of this saga to be written, it requires the EAO to use its discretionary powers to terminate the Environmental Assessment (EA) of the Raven Coal Mine Project, said a Coal Watch news release.

“For over six years the clouds of uncertainty surrounding this ill-conceived coal mine project have had a negative impact on the residents in the communities directly impacted by the project,” said Snyder. “The residents in these communities demand and deserve closure on the Raven Coal Project issue.”

A decision by the EAO to take the appropriate next step of terminating the Raven Coal Project EA would provide much of that needed closure.”

Compliance claimed the proposed Raven project would contribute approximately $1.1 billion to the economy of the surrounding region. 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 or about 30 kilometres as the crow flies from downtown Qualicum Beach.

“The directors tried a number of avenues to raise additional capital and even tried to attract new money to the company with the introduction of a new project and new direction,” said Compliance, “but the existing debts left behind by the failed EAO process made this option too difficult.”

The company’s CEO Stephen Ellis resigned in September of 2015.

In March of 2015 after the EAO rejected the project’s first application Ellis told The NEWS 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.”

Snyder is urging the EAO to take action.

“There’s no justifiable reason to keep the Raven Coal Project EA active any longer, and with the expiration of the timeline now over eight months, it’s time the EAO makes the decision to terminate the Raven Coal Project EA and finally write the final chapter in this saga,” he said.

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