The proponent of a proposed coal mine near Baynes Sound downplays the significance of a minority partner’s possible withdrawal from the project.
Itochu Corp. of Japan — of which I-Comox Coal is a subsidiary — has “signalled an intention” to leave Comox Joint Venture but has not given formal notice of withdrawal, says Stephen Ellis, president/chief operations officer of Compliance Energy Corp. Itochu owns 20 per cent of the venture, as does LG International Investments. Compliance has a 60 per cent ownership interest.
“If Itochu was to withdraw, it doesn’t have an overall effect on the joint venture,” Ellis said. “We’ll still continue.”
Compliance met Monday with the provincial Environmental Assessment Office and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. The former rejected the company’s initial application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate.
The two sides are “working in harmony on this project,” Ellis said.
“We put a sample section together. They’ve had that for a month to review. We’ve got some further revisions to do. It’s a process — it can be difficult at times but we’re getting through it.”
Ellis figures the company is four to six months away from reapplying.