Compliance Energy Corporation is proposing to open a coal mine near Fanny Bay south of Courtenay, British Columbia, by the end of 2012. The Raven Underground Coal Mine would produce up to 1.5 million tonnes of coal a year, mainly for steel mills in Asia. The company has pointed to Campbell River, Duke Point, Gold River, and Port Alberni as potential export shipping points, but is currently focusing on moving the coal to Port Alberni by truck. No matter which port the coal passes through, this represents approximately 100 trucks a day, or one truck every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for 20 years. By rail, only one train a day would be required.
The Only Rail Petition focuses on the transportation aspect of the proposal. It states that due to environmental, safety, cost, and maintenance concerns, the only viable transportation method would be to use the Island Rail line. Over 450 people have signed the petition so far. Those opposed to the mine itself have signed it as a backup plan in case opposition to the mine fails and to avoid a worst case scenario. Those in favour of the coal mine have signed in order to support a more sustainable way to move product on Vancouver Island, and to support the investment in the rail line itself. For more information on the petition contact Chris Alemany at 250-723-0889.