Raven re-submits application for coal mine near Buckley Bay

CoalWatch president John Snyder continues to say the company has no 'social licence' to proceed with this project

Compliance Energy has re-submitted its application for a coal mine less than 50 kilometres from downtown Qualicum Beach.

In May of 2013, the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) rejected the company’s application for the proposed Raven coal mine, saying “the application does not contain the required information and (the EAO) has decided not to accept the application for detailed review.”

Compliance CEO Stephen Ellis said Monday he’s confident about this application.

“We believe we have answered the questions that were asked and have put in a good application,” said Ellis.

The EAO now has 30 days to tell Compliance whether its application will be accepted. If the EAO accepts the application, a 180-day review will be initiated, which includes a public comment period.

Reaction to the news Raven was back on the table was swift.

Comox-based CoalWatch issued a news release Monday morning saying it is gearing up for a review process.

“With no evidence of social license being granted by the residents of the Comox Valley or Port Alberni, many may have thought the Raven Coal Mine Project had gone away,” said CoalWatch president John Snyder. “However, Compliance Coal seems intent on moving their project forward despite the ever increasing headwind of opposition from Vancouver Island residents. CoalWatch will also be putting together an expert technical team to review the Application/EIS and pinpoint issues of concern.”

On its website (www.theravenproject.ca), Compliance says it expects to hire up to 200 workers during construction and create up to 350 full-time jobs. The underground operation would be centred about five kilometres west of the Buckley Bay ferry terminal and the coal would be stored and shipped out of Port Alberni.

Ellis spoke about the employment possibilities on Monday, especially in light of the layoffs in the oil sector.

“With everything else that’s happened in the economy, how good would some jobs be here?” he said.