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Greenhills mine explosion near Elkford, B.C. sends 3 to hospital

CBC News, April 5 2015

An explosion at an open pit coal mine in southeastern B.C. has sent three people to local hospitals with second- and third-degree burns.

Explosion at Greenhills mine hospitalizes three

Sarah Kucharski, The Free Press, Fernie, April 5 2015

On Sunday, April 5 an explosion at Greenhills mine near Elkford occurred sending three to hospital with burns.

The explosion occurred Sunday morning at approximately 11 a.m. STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society) was dispatched to the scene at 11:26 a.m.

US coal sector in 'structural decline', financial analysts say

Karl Mathiesen,, 24 March 2015

Over 200 mines shut down and industry loses 76% of its value in five years, report finds

The US coal sector is in a “structural decline” which has sent 26 companies bust in the last three years, according to financial analysts.

A report by the Carbon Tracker Initiative found that in the past five years the US coal industry lost 76% of its value. At least 264 mines were closed between 2011 and 2013. The world’s largest private coal company, Peabody Energy, lost 80% of its share price.

Coal applications cover vast area of Comox Valley

Scott Stanfield, Comox Valley Record, February 23 2015

Coal licence applications and existing coal tenures in the Valley comprise about a third of the regional district's total land area, according to research conducted by CoalWatch Comox Valley.

Professional Reliance and Environmental Regulation in British Columbia

Report, Environmental Law Centre, UVic, February 9 2015

Victoria, BC - Over the last decade the BC government embarked on a major law reform initiative to reduce the “regulatory burden” on industry. They reduced the size of the civil service and its role in resource management governance, which increased our dependence upon professionals employed by industry proponents to meet the public interest in natural resource management and environmental protection. This new report, prepared by Mark Haddock and supported with funding from the Law Foundation of BC, evaluates this regulatory approach, identifies issues and makes recommendations for improvement.

Click here to read the report.

In B.C.’s 19th century coal mining epicentre, residents push hard against plans for a new coal mine

Tristin Hopper, National  Post, February 13, 2015

Cumberland, B.C., was built on coal — literally.

Built in the 1890s atop one of the richest coalfields in coastal British Columbia, the ground below the village’s downtown is criss-crossed with hundreds of now-flooded mining tunnels.

Coalwatch Research Exposes Large Area of Coal Interest in the Comox Valley

News Release, CoalWatch Comox Valley, February 12 2015

Recent research done by the CoalWatch Comox Valley Society has revealed that current coal license applications and existing coal tenures in the Comox Valley equal a staggering 33.6% of the total land area in the Comox Valley Regional District.

The consequences of coal run as deep as the mines themselves

Sharon Small, Comox Valley Record, February 11 2015

Dear editor,

A staggering 33.6 per cent of the Comox Valley is currently covered by coal licence applications and existing coal tenures. Owners, like Compliance Energy, are poised to profit from Premier Clark’s coal mine and coal port expansion program that is pitched to create jobs and economic enhancement.

Proposed Murray River mine to rely primarily on foreign workers

Wendy Stueck, Globe and Mail, Jan. 09 2015

VANCOUVER — If the proposed Murray River coal project goes ahead, more than half of its employees would be temporary foreign workers in 2018 – potentially the first year of operation – and it would take nearly a decade for all the hourly jobs at the project to be filled by Canadians.

Government geotechnical inspections at mines reduced under B.C. Liberals

Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Sun, December 19, 2014

Average number of annual inspections at tailings dams has fallen by more than half

Water advisory issued after small spill Thursday at Princeton mine

Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Sun, December 11, 2014

Tailings pipe rupture at mill site not detected for about 20 minutes, CEO says

Interior Health will issue a do-not-use water advisory for Wolfe Creek as a precautionary measure following a small tailings spill Wednesday evening at Copper Mountain mine near Princeton, the mines ministry said Thursday.

The water advisory is for Wolfe Creek immediately downstream from Copper Mountain mine to the mouth of the Similkameen River. Copper Mountain staff have installed silt curtains in the creek to help prevent tailings flowing farther down the creek, said the ministry.

Teck Resources water-treatment plant shut after dead fish found

Mark Hume, The Globe and Mail, Oct. 28 2014

VANCOUVER — A $100-million treatment plant that is a key piece of Teck Resources Ltd.’s plan to address a selenium pollution problem in British Columbia’s Elk Valley has been taken off line because of a fish kill.

Elk Valley watershed: Why has this unfolding disaster been ignored?

Mark Hume, The Globe and Mail, Oct 19 2014

VANCOUVER — Few people know more about selenium poisoning than Dennis Lemly and that’s why Environment Canada turned to him to assess federal research in British Columbia’s Elk Valley watershed.

The research associate professor at Wake Forest University in North Carolina has written an expert report that reviews the data being collected by the federal government in an investigation into pollution from coal mines.

CFAX 1070: John Snyder discusses the newest coal applications

John Snyder, CFAX 1070 with host Ian Jessop, August 18 2014

John Snyder, President of the CoalWatch Comox Valley Society discusses the newest applications for coal tenures by Skyland Resources Group Inc., in both the Comox Valley and the Nanaimo area.

John's segment begins at 33:15 and runs to 42:10.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Richmond company goes after 10 local coal licences

Drew A. Penner, Comox Valley Echo, August 14, 2014

A brand new company from Richmond is trying to stake its claim on 10 different sections of mineral-rich Comox Valley land, but some observers say the company will face an uphill battle if they want to bring coal to market. Not long after incorporating in April, Skyland Resources Group submitted 17 coal licence applications for Vancouver Island mineral rights June 25 and 26, including two in the Anderson Lake area and eight between Union Bay and Deep Bay.

Let us be warned

Editorial, Comox Valley Record, August 11 2014

The recent Mount Polley Mining tailing pond breach in Likely, B.C. should serve as a warning to all of us on Vancouver Island, none more so than those in charge of granting mining licences.

Coalwatch sounds alarm over new player in Vancouver Island coal rush

News Release, CoalWatch Comox Valley Society, Aug 11 2014

In the past week, CoalWatch Comox Valley Society has uncovered 17 new coal license applications that have been filed for tenures in the Comox Valley area and Nanaimo area. These coal license applications were filed with the Ministry of Energy and Mines, on June 25, 2014 and June 26, 2014 by Skyland Resources Group Inc. of Richmond, BC.

Mount Polley mine tailings pond breach: full water ban in place

CBC News, Aug 4 2014

Campers told to evacuate area after release of five million cubic metres of mine talings pond effluent

A complete water ban affecting about 300 local residents is in effect after five million cubic metres of tailings pond effluent from the Mount Polley copper and gold mine was released early Monday into Hazeltine Creek.

Search and rescue crews evacuated campers in the immediate area. But shelters have not been provided for them, as they appear to have set up camp elsewhere without any problems, said Cariboo Regional District Chair Al Richmond.

Coal Mine's Rejection on Global-Warming Grounds Has Major Implications

John H. Cushman Jr., InsideClimate News, Jul 1, 2014

If the judge's reasoning holds up in other cases it could undermine the rationales for much bigger projects, such as the Keystone XL pipeline.

A federal judge has blocked a coal project in the wilds of Colorado because federal agencies failed to consider the future global-warming damages from burning fossil fuels.

U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Johnson's decision halts exploration proposed by Arch Coal that would have bulldozed six miles of roads on 1,700 untrammeled acres of public land.

CVRD votes against Oyster River coal licenses

John Snyder, Tide Change Comox Valley, June 29 2014

Not long after Hillsborough Resources was issued several new coal licenses in the Woodhus Creek/Oyster River area, they’ve recently submitted a notice of exploration work in the area, to the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM).

CVRD asks provincial government to rescind coal licences and permit no exploration work in Woodhus Creek/Oyster river area

Edwin Grieve, Chair, Comox Valley Regional District, June 26 2014

In a letter to Ed Taje, Senior Inspector of Mines, Permitting and Health and Safety, with the Ministry of Energy and Mines,the CVRD through Mr. Grieve requested that "no coal license be issued (rescinded) and that no notice of work for exploratory drilling be issued."

Coal drilling proposal makes residents nervous

Paul Rudan, Campbell River Mirror, June 14 2014

Hillsborough Resources wants to look for more coal and that’s causing concern for some residents living along the Oyster River watershed.

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