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Comox Valley coal mine not all it's made out to be
Your newspaper has recently carried word that the Raven Underground Coal Mine will once again be submitting its application for a permit.
This from a company which had over four years to complete its initial application only to have it turned down as not meeting the terms of reference which it had a hand in establishing.
Nevertheless here they go again and will know doubt trot out the same misinformation and exaggerated claims previously made.
One such involves the number and value of jobs this project will bring.
The proponent claims that it will bring 350 high-paying jobs. That number comes from their own researchers who state that such a number is the absolute maximum.
An examination of a comparable mine (Quinsam at Campbell River) shows that the number will more likely be between 179 and 225 employees.
Similarly the wages and salaries are inflated and dependent on many conditions. Again, Compliance's own technical report confirms this.
So these and many other claims must be held up against:
1. The shellfish Industry, which employs over 600 persons and contributes over $28 million in sales in each year. Much of which flows into the local economy and which will be endangered by a mine so close to Baynes Sound.
2. Many residents throughout Fanny Bay, Ships Point and Buckley Bay rely on wells for their water supply. Any pollutants leaching into groundwater would imperil that supply.
3. While the claim is made that this coal is metallurgical in quality, credible expert analysis states that it will not make “one ounce” of steel unless it is mixed with a higher-quality product.
Every assertion made above has been verified by expert opinion and analysis.
No doubt the proponent will assure us that there will be no danger from the mine and that they have all eventualities covered. Such assurance sound hollow when considered against the history of this industry.