Despite the loss of one minority partner and the apparent loss of another, Compliance Energy Corporation still intends to forge ahead with the proposed Raven underground coal mine in Baynes Sound.
Itochu Corporation of Japan officially withdrew from the Comox Joint Venture in June. LG International Corporation of Korea (LGi) has told the company it too plans to withdraw from the project. Both own 20 per cent of the venture.
“Compliance Coal has complete ownership,” president/chief operations officer Stephen Ellis said Monday. “The company is still intending to carry on with the process.”
CoalWatch Comox Valley president John Snyder feels the withdrawal of LGi is significant and “adds to the long history of setbacks for the Raven Coal project over the past six years.”
Compliance purchased the coal rights in 2005 and established a joint venture with Itochu and LGi. An economic feasibility study was completed in 2009 for the development of an underground coal project. That same year, Compliance entered into an Environmental Assessment (EA) process. The company has so far spent more than $20 million on the project.
In 2013, the provincial Environmental Assessment Office rejected the company’s application for an EA certificate. Earlier this year, Compliance withdrew its application from a provincial screening process to clear up some misconceptions about the proposed mine.
At this point, Ellis is not sure if Compliance is close to re-applying.
“There’s different things happening which I can’t talk about right now,” he said.