Compliance has bigger issues than Raven Mine

Dear editor,

In the last seven years the only things Compliance Energy has delivered on reliably are meaningless dates and missed deadlines, culminating with last month’s voluntary application withdrawal.

“Misinformation has been circulating in some communities,” said the company in its March 2 letter to the EAO, wherein it voluntarily withdrew its latest coal mine application.

And that is without ever getting into the all-important technical details of water, shellfish, trucking, coal dust and the impacts of a coal port – issues the public has been denied a chance to examine for seven years. There may be misinformation lurking in that material too, but the EAO didn’t get that far: it put together 62 pages of deficiencies in the application, without even completing the screening.

Compliance has also conspicuously failed to deliver on the only benefit of the mine and its associated trucking and port activities: “350 new, well-paying, full-time jobs and hundreds of indirect jobs in the Comox Valley, Port Alberni and surrounding regions.”

When pigs fly.

Today, coal companies are in despair. Coal prices have seldom been lower.

Mines are closing everywhere, including B.C. These grim conditions, as well as Compliance’s unique style, are reflected in the company’s share price: it closed last week at two cents.

The company’s auditors included a rare, and serious, “Emphasis of Matter” in last year’s financial statements, warning shareholders that there is “significant doubt about [the company’s] ability to continue as a going concern.”

Among the concerns was a $9 million deficit – six times the deemed “market value” of the company.

Compliance may be able to pull itself together enough to get an acceptable application into the EAO for a full environmental assessment. But in today’s coal market it could never attract the investment necessary to build a mine.

Coal prices may increase again, one day, and the Raven mine or something like it may come back again. It will be as unpopular then, as it is now, for all the same reasons.

 

 

Arthur Caldicott

Victoria

 

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