Rational resources

We need sane, rational and realistic natural resource development in B.C. if we are going to have an attractive and successful future.

I just read your most interesting article on Compliance Energy’s proposed underground coal project. The article informs us that Compliance Energy has scheduled a re-submission of its mining permit application by the end of this year.

Critics were quick to point out that they had missed two previous scheduled submissions in the past.

Perhaps those critics might keep in mind a “Catch-22” which is faced not just by Compliance, but by virtually every company attempting to advance resource development projects on our Island and in our province. That difficulty has to do with economics.

In order to obtain all the information now required by the various regulatory agencies within B.C., a company would need a host of expensive professionals such as geologists, botanists, biologists, mining engineers, metallurgists and so forth to gather the required information.

However, given the enormous time lines now involved in gaining project approvals — and they are steadily lengthening — few junior resource companies have the funds to pay this array of professionals nor can they successfully access capital markets during a time when the future of their projects looks uncertain at best and high-risk at worse.

Therefore, quite understandably, any unanticipated complication can easily result in a missed deadline.

Before congratulating themselves, environmentalists — who also tend to be advocates for enlarged government social programs — should question the value of placing so many obstacles in the pathway of economic resource development because it is new wealth generated from economically successful resource development which offers the best opportunity for government to find the funds necessary to create and develop those desired programs.

Without economic growth, government can only accelerate program creation by the acquisition of new debt — and that is clearly a most unsatisfactory process in the long run.

We need sane, rational and realistic natural resource development in B.C. if we are going to have an attractive and successful future.

Leonard Melman

Nanoose Bay

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