Two Smithers councillors recently had a chance to attend a tour being put on by Allegiance Coal.
Along with about 35 others, Councillors Gladys Atrill and Frank Wray recently visited a site tour put on by the Australian-based company and had a chance to see the progress for the proposed development, which has estimated an annual production rate of 750,000 tonnes.
“It was a full day site tour … of various parts of the project in terms of how it affects the ground,” said Atrill, adding that unfortunately the amount of people and fact that seeing the mine site requires a flight means they were unable to see that portion of the development.
But she also said that the tour provided a chance for answers to many issues that have been raised by the community on topics like water quality, noise and emloyment potential by the mine.
“All in all it was a fairly interesting day and hopefully we’ll be able to go back and look at the mine site itself.”
Wray echoed Atrill’s views that he enjoyed the visit, adding that he felt the mine was taking concerns seriously.
“I was impressed with the amount of effort that’s going into keep that mine traffic away from the public … we ended up at the rest stop outside of Telkwa and they kind of pointed out where it would be and how you wouldn’t even be able to see it.
“I’m impressed with the effort they are making and I think they’re listening to the concerns that are being brought up, of course the final proof will be in the pudding.”
Currently the company is currently going through environmental assessments and has already hosted two (out of a planned total of five) open houses to the public.
Allegiance Coal managing director Mark Gray has previously told The Interior News that he expects the entire process to take about nine months after it began in mid-December 2018.