Letters to the Editor

More mines in the Elk Valley

A new metallurgical coal mine in the Elk Valley would help ensure a growing economy and create jobs for the future.  Centermount Coal would have a capital investment greater than $500 million and create over 300 full time jobs at the Bingay mine.  During the previous two years, over $20 million has been spent on exploration with contractors and consultants being largely Kootenay based.

The map published in The Free Press was the Southern Rocky Mountain Management Plan map showing that the Bingay coal deposit is located in a Coal Enhanced Resource Development Zone.  This designation signifies an assurance of long-term security of access and tenures to these lands for coal mining exploration and development purposes.

Bingay mine is located close to Forsythe Creek, Bingay Creek and the Elk River however the mine plan avoids contact with those streams.  The Environmental Assessment is planned to begin this year with an objective plan to collect and treat any water containing selenium, nitrates or phosphorus.

Modern mining manages water issues and yields reclamation that does not compromise the landscape.  The present selenium issues in the Elk Valley are a legacy from old mining techniques.  The Bingay mine will have a small footprint; it will be a fraction of what Elk Valley residents are accustomed to.  The small footprint is a direct result of the shape of the coal deposit, underground mining, and employing modern mining techniques.  The underground mining will not be beneath the Elk River, streams or wetlands but beneath the planned surface mine.

The planned Bingay mine is located on existing forestry clear-cuts and beetle-killed forests; no mature forests to be removed. Reclamation would begin soon after the commencement of open pit extraction with the final landscape looking natural.

The road to the Elk Lakes Provincial Park would travel adjacent to the mine site, not through. Road access to the Elk Lakes Provincial Park is planned to be improved and maintained by Centermount Coal.

Our governments believe in a prosperous and environmentally sustainable future.  The Environmental Assessment process will engage all local stakeholders and the public.  Centermount Coal looks forward to your involvement and feedback. Bingay mine is planned to be small, modern and responsible.

 

Dan Savage

Centermount Coal

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