August 30, 2014
BURNCO Rock Products posted on August 5, 2014 a revised project description. This is the first communication since the public comment period ended October 19th, 2013. 475 comments to the draft application were posted to the BC Environmental Assessment Office website, and responses to these comments from BURNCO, will eventually be posted on the BCEAO website.
The letter provides a preview of the issues it will seek to mitigate and provides some details on the revisions to the processing area, dock and barging area now they have detailed engineered designs. T he barge load-out jetty is 125 metres closer to the residential area at McNab and the treed shoreline visual buffer is to be shrunk from 75-160 metres to a token 25-50 metres . The maximum production rate has been reduced by half a million tonnes per annum and the life set at 16 years, but there are no guarantees an expansion or extension won’t be applied for in the future, which will likely bypass the need for a further Environmental Assessment.
What remains unchanged is that BURNCO intends to permanently alter the pristine estuary, the course of McNab Creek and many sub-creeks, interrupt wildlife, and ruin the peace and quiet of this valley. It will leave behind an altered natural course for all the water running off the mountains enroute to the ocean. The deep man-made tailing pond (lake) at the base of this valley and the dirt berm separating it from the creek will be continually challenged as climate change alters the predictability and intensity of winter storms and summer drought.
Howe Sound has been Jeff Marliave and the Vancouver Aquarium’s living laboratory over the past 30 years. In this interview with Vancouver Sun reporter Larry Pym, Jeff explains at min. 11:30 the mine’s inevitable impact on marine life, a component of the Howe Sound region people highly value.
BURNCO says they look forward to completing its assessment of the proposal and expects to move to the next phase of the process this fall when it submits the formal applications. In the next phase evidence to support the mitigation of social, economic, environmental and heritage impacts will be provided and the public will have 30 days to comment.
Thanks to Tim Turner for this collage of McNab Creek area photos, the location of the proposed mine.