Animal Advocates Watchdog

Proposed coal mine first of several in Comox Valley? *PIC*


Raven Underground Coal Project

Raven Underground Coal Project
Updated March 6, 2010 (Section 11 order issued)

Compliance Energy and partners are proposing a new coal mine on Vancouver Island. The Raven Underground Coal Project would be located in the Tsable River watershed between Parksville and Courtenay on Vancouver Island.

The mine is projected to produce 2.2 million tonnes of coal per year or 44 million tonnes over the 20 year expected life of the mine. Of the 2.2 million tonnes per year, 700,000 tonnes will remain at the mine site as waste, and 1.5 million tonnes of "clean coal" will be shipped to the hoped-for Asian markets.

Options for shipping the coal include truck to Port Alberni (the preferred route), to Duke Point, or to Middle Point in Campbell River.

The project triggers both a provincial and federal environmental review.

A project description has been filed with the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) and the project is now in Pre-Application status with the EAO. It will be reviewed, draft Application Information Requirements (AIR) - until recently referred to as Terms of Reference - for a project review will be published, and the public will be given 40 days to comment on the draft AIR. Following that, the final AIR will be issued, and the proponent will disappear for a while, preparing its formal application and environmental impact statement.

When the application is submitted, the project review will move into Application status. This could be months away, or years - projects are extremely variable in this respect. But once the application has been accepted, the environmental assessment must complete within 180 days.

There is no indication that the company will require any zoning or permits from the Comox Regional District. Many authorizations are required from the province - including a mine permit and a lease for surface lands from the Integrated Lands Management Bureau (ILMB) - and from federal agencies (section 7.2 of the pre-application)

Compliance is the majority partner in the Raven Project. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Compliance Coal Corporation, Compliance holds 60% of the Comox Joint Venture with two partners, Itochu Corporation and LG International, both Asian trading companies each holding 20%.

Project home at the BC Environmental Assessment Office:

Project Description

Raven Project on the Compliance Energy website

Proposed coal mine first of several in Comox Valley?

Published: March 03, 2011 4:00 PM
Updated: March 03, 2011 4:47 PM

Dear editor,
At numerous public meetings over the past few months, the question has been raised whether or not the proposed Raven Coal Mine Project near Fanny Bay is just the beginning of numerous coal mines being developed in the Comox Valley.
Although the proponent of the Raven Project, Compliance Energy Corporation (CEC), is quick to say that they have no plans to develop properties on Vancouver Island at this time, a look at their website may give us a clue as to what their future intentions may be.
The Raven Project, currently undergoing an environmental assessment, is just one of several coal deposits identified in its 29,000-hectare coal tenure in the Comox Coal Basin.
The Bear Coal Deposit, 12 kilometres from the Raven Project, and the Anderson Lake Coal Deposit, just off of the Strathcona Parkway — each with open pit potential — are also contained in its Comox Valley coal tenure.
CEC isn’t saying if the Bear and Anderson Lake coal deposits are big enough to justify a mine on their own, but once the Raven is operating, Bear and Anderson Lake can both piggyback on the infrastructure and capital investment made for Raven.
How big a loophole is the phrase “at this time”? And what should readers make out of the fact that, on its website, Compliance identifies both deposits as candidates for potential future development?
Before filing its first documents for Raven, the website claimed, “The Bear [project] is approximately 12 kilometres apart from the Raven and it’s anticipated that it would be developed in conjunction with the Raven deposit.”
That language has now disappeared.
Skyrocketing world coal prices are accelerating B.C. coal development. Could the mid-Island turn into a mini-Appalachia?
Those of you who think that the proposed Raven Project is just going to affect the Fanny Bay area had better wake up and smell the coffee.
The next phase of the environmental assessment of the Raven will include a 40-day public comment period and public meetings in the areas affected by the project. This comment period is expected to commence mid-spring or possibly later.
I urge all the residents of the Comox Valley to participate in the comment period and to attend the public meetings. This proposed Raven Underground Coal Mine Project, if approved, will have a negative impact on not only Fanny Bay, but the entire Comox Valley, for decades to come.
More information on CoalWatch and the Raven Project is available at
John Snyder,
Fanny Bay
Editor’s note: John Snyder is president of the CoalWatch Comox Valley Society.

Proposed Raven coal mine 'fly in the ointment'

Published: April 12, 2011 2:00 PM
Updated: April 12, 2011 2:58 PM

Dear editor,
The Raven coal mine proposed for the area around Fanny Bay has been and is like a large fly in the ointment of wholesome environmental living.
I feel that it is time for this to be changed. In simple language, such a mine is not suitable for this part of Vancouver Island for the reasons that have been articulated in this paper many times previously.
Amongst those reasons:
• The mine could have disastrous effects on the shellfish industry in Baynes Sound;
• The operation will cause unwarranted traffic hazards on the roads leading to Port Alberni;
• Coal mining will certainly affect the area as a desirable place to live and retire;
• Air quality will be adversely affected from the operation, notwithstanding its underground nature;
• The amount and quality of coal to be extracted is questionable.
The government of our province is responsible for authorizing the initiation of the undertaking to have a new coal mine in our area. What was done can and must be undone.
I call upon Premier Christy Clark and her government to do not just the right thing but the sensible thing: cancel any further steps to produce coal at the proposed Raven mine.
Elizabeth Smith,
Fanny Bay

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.Are the carbon emissions from coal which is used for steel production any different from coal used for electricity generation?
2.How is coal used in steel production, and what happens to the carbon?
3.How much carbon is in carbon steel?
4.How much carbon dioxide results from the use of one tonne of coal?
5.What is the mine approval process in BC?

1.Are the carbon emissions from coal used for steel production any different from coal used for electricity generation?
When coal is burned directly for electricity generation, virtually all of the carbon is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. The same is true when coal is used for steel production, although the process is different.

2.How is coal used in steel production, and what happens to the carbon?
1. The coal is first converted to coke, a porous material made up of the fixed carbon from the coal, and the ash. Coking involves heating coal in a controlled oxygen environment where the volatile components of coal are driven off, not burned off, as water, coal gas, and coal tar. Two of these are hydrocarbon products with economic value, though sometimes they are used as a fuel within the coking process itself. Coal which is used for coking contains volatile components which comprise 26-29% of the coal. Of these volatile by-products, coal gas and coal tar, most end up being burned somewhere. (Coal tar was once used for making tar and asphalt, but has been all but replaced by by-products of petroleum distillation.) At this stage, some of the carbon in the original coal is now in by-products, but most of it is in the coke. A very small proportion of the original coal will be burned to maintain the heat necessary for coking - and all of that carbon will be emitted to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

2. Iron ore is smelted down to pig iron using the coke from step 1. Into a continous hot mixture of iron ore, coke, and limestone (in approximate proportions of 4:2:1) oxygen or air is introduced. The carbon in the coke provides the combustible fuel which is kept at a temperature of about 1600 degrees Celsius. These high temperatures are necessary for smelting and steel making, and coke burns at more than 1000°C higher than coal. Most of the carbon from the combustion of coke in smelting iron ore is emitted as carbon dioxide, though the pig iron itself ends up with up to 5% carbon content.
3. Pig iron, and recycled steel are then further heated in a blast furnace, with some of the carbon from the pig iron, and some additional coke used as fuel. Again, virtually all of the carbon ends up as carbon dioxide, even in the production of "carbon steel".

Virtually all of the carbon in coal used for steel production ends up in the atmosphere, as carbon dioxide.

3.How much carbon is in carbon steel?
So-called "carbon steel" has only a very small proportion of carbon, ranging from 0.2% to at most 2.0%. Steel becomes very brittle at the upper range. Pig iron, with up to 5% carbon content, is all but useless - except as a feedstock for steel.

4.How much carbon dioxide results from the use of one tonne of coal?
The molecular weight of carbon is 12. The molecular weight of carbon dioxide is 44.1, or 3.675 times the weight of coal. If all the carbon in coal is emitted as carbon dioxide, then one tonne of coal will produce 3.675 tonnes of carbon dioxide. This is true of thermal energy production and of steel production.

5.What is the mine approval process in BC?

Port Alberni says NO to the Raven mine!

CoalWatch News, June 3, 2011

Hundreds came to the public meeting to tell the environmental assessment agencies and Compliance Coal Corp that the don't want the Raven coal mine and they don't want their harbour and streets used as a shipping port for the coal.

The sound was dreadful, the people were edgy, the company was complacent, and the bureaucrats were, well, bureaucratty. But the message was clear: no mine, no coal port.

Some Port Alberni students brought a message.

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Proposed coal mine first of several in Comox Valley? *PIC*
No to the Coal Mine
Mine will make road only worse