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There is evidence of major coal plans

By Calvin Sandborn, Times Colonist, February 22, 2011

Re: "No other coal mines planned for Island," Feb. 18.

The letter from the CEO of the Raven coal project raises the central issue about the proposed Raven mine: Will this be the first of a number of mines in the vast coal reserve that stretches from Fanny Bay to near Campbell River?

Skyrocketing world coal prices are accelerating B.C. coal development. Could the mid-Island turn into a miniAppalachia?

The letter states "Compliance Coal Corporation has no plans to develop other properties on Vancouver Island at this time."

The Compliance website states: "Compliance's projects in the Comox Coal Basin are the Raven Underground Coal Project and the Bear Coal Project . the Comox Joint Venture [60 per cent owned by Compliance] is focused on developing the Raven Coal Deposit and the nearby Bear Coal Deposit."

Has Compliance dropped its plans to develop the Bear project? If so, perhaps its website should be updated.

In addition, perhaps the Compliance slide show presented at its 2009 annual general meeting can be explained. It sets a target of $100 million in revenue by the end of 2012, and mentions properties such as Wolf Mountain and Anderson Lake, along with rights to coalbed methane.

Has Compliance's ambitious strategy for next year been abandoned?

If not, the Raven environmental assessment needs to be expanded to consider the cumulative environmental effects that additional coal mines could have. Provincial and federal environment ministers should appoint an independent panel of experts to hold full public hearings on this issue.

No environmental issue is more important to the people of Vancouver Island.

Calvin Sandborn
Legal director Environmental Law Clinic University of Victoria

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