Stick to the facts

It's all very well to come out with nightmare scenarios for Raven Coal

Mr. Snyder is at it again (The News, March 9) with his exaggerated claims about the damage that the Raven coal mine might create.

He talks about a stack of waste rock 113 metres high after one year. The waste rock density for the volume that he envisions would have to be about 1.1 tons per cubic metre whereas the true density of broken sedimentary waste rock is probably in the order of 1.8 tons per cubic metre. So the real volume of the pile would be considerably less than what he envisions.

This however is only half the story.  There are much larger coal mines in northwest and southeast B.C. and there is and has been extensive coal mining here on Vancouver Island.

Some of these coal mines do have large waste dumps. However extensive reclamation programs are now required for all of these mines.

Revegetated waste piles generate verdant growth, which attracts so much wildlife that they are sometimes a problem to ongoing mining activity as they come to graze on the reclaimed lands.

The Nanaimo and Cumberland areas have had extensive coal mining activity over the years but it is difficult for anyone to know where the waste dumps are unless you are told or have an experienced eye. In addition the management plans have stringent regulations regarding control of any acid rock drainage.  So let’s not imagine, let’s deal with the facts.

Alf Randall


Qualicum Beach