For Immediate Release
August 31, 2010
CEAA releases Raven Project public comments
Public comments to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) were released to the Raven Underground Coal Project today, following a request by the project. This is the first of at least four federal and provincial public comment periods.
“It’s good to see open dialogue about the project,” said John Tapics, Raven Underground Coal Project President and CEO. “This project will bring hundreds of jobs to the area so it’s important that people take the time to get accurate information.”
In its comments, the public expressed interest in job creation and the opportunity for families to find local employment.
“I am in favour of development on the Island, as there are few jobs for young or old folks in this area,” wrote an engineer from Parksville. “With proper controls and monitoring for this project, I believe it could be developed with little adverse environmental impact and considerable economic and infrastructure benefit.”
Another resident commented, “We need the jobs and the economic prosperity that this mine will bring to our region and Canada.”
In terms of environmental impacts, one writer commented, “The project plans an enclosed shipping facility which will virtually eliminate coal dust in Port Alberni,” and another wrote, “I believe there will be adequate Provincial and Federal oversight.”
Noting the project will produce metallurgical coal that will be combined with iron ore to make steel, one resident commented it is important to know the percentage of metallurgical coal the proposed mine might produce. “…If the planned project is largely metallurgical coal then the project should be given a chance,” he wrote. “As metallurgical coal is fundamental in steel production, and we all benefit from steel in the vehicles we drive, household implements we use, etcetera, to oppose the Raven Project out of hand is simply a hypocritical, not in my backyard response.” Technical studies have confirmed at least 80% of the coal from the project will be metallurgical coal used for making steel.
Many comments expressed concern for the environment, including farmed shellfish, air quality, and traffic.
“These concerns will be addressed through the comprehensive federal and provincial environmental review process that is underway,” said Tapics. “Strict federal and provincial environmental regulations are in place to protect the environment.”
Aquatic ecologists, air quality scientists, hydrogeologists, archaeologists and many other scientists have been studying the proposed location of the project to build an understanding of current conditions including surface and groundwater, aquifer mapping, fish habitat and air quality. This information will be submitted as part of the environmental review process and technical consultants will use this information to design the project to eliminate or minimize potential environmental and social impacts.
“Our job is to eliminate or minimize the environmental impact of the project,” said Tapics. “We have located the proposed site where it will have the least environmental impact. The environment will be an important priority through every step of the project.”
The proposed project is located approximately six kilometres west of the Buckley Bay Ferry terminal and contained in an up to 3100 hectare area with surface facilities expected to cover approximately 200 hectares. There are no plans to expand the project beyond this area.
More information about the project is available on the BCEAO website at www.eao.gov.bc.ca , the CEAA website at www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca and the Raven Project website at www.theravenproject.ca.
The CEAA public comment period continues until September 20, 2010. The BC Environmental Assessment Office public comment period for the draft Application Information Requirements is expected to be announced this fall.
The proposed Raven Underground Coal Project is a project of the Comox Joint Venture. The joint venture has been created to explore the possibility of developing the Raven Underground Coal Project on Vancouver Island.
Compliance Coal Corporation, a Canadian resource company with corporate offices located in Vancouver British Columbia, is the majority partner in the Comox Joint Venture.
For more information, please contact:
Project Information Office
(250) 830-7346 www.theravenproject.ca