British Columbia rejects environmental application for Raven coal mine

The British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office sent a May 16 letter to Compliance Coal saying that the company’s application for environmental review on the Raven underground coal mine is deficient and therefore rejected.

The agency outlined for the company what would need to be fixed in any re-application for this environmental approval, including areas like groundwater reporting standards.

Compliance Coal (CCC) d/b/a the Comox Joint Venture (CJV) has been planning the development of an underground coal mine on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The Raven property is owned by the CJV, which consists of three companies: CCC (60%); I-Comox Coal Inc. (ICC), a subsidiary of Japan’s Itochu Corp. (20%); and LG International Investments (Canada) Ltd. (LGI) (20%). Under the CJV arrangement, CCC would be responsible for managing and operating the mine, and ICC and LGI will be responsible for the global marketing for the products produced from the Raven property on an exclusive basis.

CCC is a 100% subsidiary of Compliance Energy (CEC). Through the CJV, CCC manages 29,000 hectares of coal rights in the Comox Coal Basin on Vancouver Island. The proposed Raven project has underground coal resources totaling about 131 million tonnes. They mine produce a total of about 30 million tonnes of raw run-of-mine (ROM) coal (about 13 million tonnes of clean coal) over its 16-year life.

Close to 90% of the clean coal would be bituminous metallurgical semi-soft coking coal. Approximately 10% of the bituminous met coal, which will be recovered in the coal prep plant, would contain too much rock or ash to be used in the production of steel and can be sold as a high quality thermal coal. Coal from the Raven mine is expected to be largely shipped to the overseas markets in Asia and South America.

Said Compliance Energy in a May 21 statement: “In its correspondence, the EAO has determined that at this stage the Application does not yet contain all of the required information set out in the Application Information Requirements (‘AIR’) and has decided not to accept the Application for detailed review at this time. The screening review is a scan of the Application for the purposes of determining whether the AIR have been met, and does not constitute an in depth review to determine whether or not issues have been addressed and resolved to EAO’s satisfaction. Receipt of Application screening comments is typical and not unexpected after a first review. The Company and its consultants are in the process of reviewing the comments returned by the EAO and plan to provide clarification or additional information and then resubmit the Application for further review once the comments have been adequately addressed.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.