President and CEO of Compliance Coal came to the Campbell River Rotary Club to deliver the company perspective on the development of the Raven Underground Coal Mine near Union Bay. His first comment was to assure members that the very organized opposition to the project was sending out a lot of misinformation.
The Raven Project proposes to remove metallurgical or “steel making” coal. Steel is manufactured by combining high grade “coking” coal with iron ore. There is no thermal coal in the deposit.
The project will contribute approximately $240 million into the region through initial construction costs and one billion dollars in operating costs over the life of the mine.
The Company has already contributed about $8 million to the regional economy and contracted local suppliers.
Two hundred construction jobs will be created over two years followed by 350 fulltime mining related jobs. First Nations economic benefits will also be realized.
The company is working with nearby Colleges so that they can hire locally. NI College has already started an underground mining course. Candy Lea Chickite, the Mine’s Community Relations Officer explained that there would be a large number of workers looking to come back to the Island to work Compliance Coal has completed a bankable feasibility study and is in the middle of a coordinated environmental assessment process. They expect another few months before it is finalized.
John also expects that the mine will be ready for production by 2015 once it has gone through final stages of review later this year and next.