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Quinsam Coal scenario could dictate future of Raven

Scott Stanfield

Record staff

 

Quinsam Coal has suspended operations on Vancouver Island, which begs the question as to what this means for the proposed Raven coal mine near Baynes Sound.

“I’m guessing the slumping coal prices most likely made the Quinsam coal mine operation uneconomic,” said John Snyder, president of CoalWatch Comox Valley. “The slumping coal price also undermines the economic argument for the Raven coal mine project, and strengthens CoalWatch’s request to have the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) terminate the environmental assessment review of the Raven project.”

Quinsam Coal general manager confirmed to Black Press that a decline in thermal coal prices, along with changes in market demand and policy disincentives, were the main factors causing Quinsam to suspend coal production indefinitely.

Quinsam Coal began as an open pit mine in 1986. It switched to underground mining in 1993 with open-pit mining ceasing in 1994. Coal was trucked to the Middle Point barge-loading facility in Campbell River.

Raven proponent Compliance Energy Corporation has said it expects the mine to create about 350 full-time jobs and spinoff jobs. Estimates indicate it could operate 16 years.

In 2013, the EAO rejected the company’s initial application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate. Last year, Compliance withdrew a revised application as it tried to clear up some misconceptions about the proposal. Later in the year, Stephen Ellis resigned as chief operations officer of the company. John Tapics had resigned as president in 2013.

Compliance did not return calls to The Record.

–With files from the

Campbell River Mirror

 

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