CoalWatch announces more mine applications being filed

CoalWatch Comox Valley Society has uncovered 17 new coal licence applications that have been filed for tenures in and around the Valley and Nanaimo. They were filed by Skyland Resources Group in June with the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

The Richmond-based company has filed two applications near Anderson Lake north of Comox Lake, eight applications in the Union Bay to Deep Bay area, and seven applications in and around Nanaimo. The total area covered is 21,150 hectares.

CoalWatch president John Snyder is disappointed with the latest applications, especially the two in the Anderson Lake area within the Tsolum River watershed.

“As usual, there’s been no public notice on these coal licence applications, other than being listed on an obscure government website,” he said in a news release. “These applications in the Comox Valley and Nanaimo area are the first stage in any coal mine exploration or development, and there needs to be more transparency and public notice when these are filed.

“With this coal rush scenario continuing in the Comox Valley, and now including the Nanaimo area, to say we have to be vigilant going forward is an understatement,” Snyder added. “CoalWatch intends to monitor the review process on these new applications, and we’ll notify the public when more details become available.”

Information about Skyland could not be found online.

Raven mine proponent Compliance Energy Corp. needs to re-apply for an environmental certificate after the provincial Environmental Assessment Office rejected its initial application.

The proposed mine is in Baynes Sound.

Government has granted the company a licence for a tenure near Anderson Lake but Compliance has said it has has no intention of exploring the 1,448 hectares above Forbidden Plateau north of Comox Lake.

President/chief operations officer Stephen Ellis has also said Compliance is not “eyeing future development” at its Bear Coal deposit above Cumberland.

Another company, Hillsborough Resources, is looking to explore nearly 3,000 hectares of undersurface coal resources, mostly in the Strathcona Regional District.

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