Maybe not “fake news” as we have come to know the term but if I hadn’t asked a lot of questions at the “limited” invitation open house that Allegiance Coal representatives held Nov. 8, I would have left there with quite a positive picture of a “small coal mine project” that would hardly be noticeable by the residents of our valley.
In reality, the proposed mine at the Tenas Pit across the Goat Horn Creek would present a stark contrast to the lovely video productions describing our community’s attributes and lifestyle that appear on the Telkwa Village website.
An open pit coal mine, a wash plant, a water treatment plant and a sediment pond to contain the acid rock drainage. Trucks hauling coal down Coalmine and Lawson Roads every half-hour through residential areas or along a new road that could be constructed over numerous creeks, through farm and crown land to the loading station by the CN tracks next to the Bulkley River. The coal would be loaded onto 150+ railcars and sprayed with “non-toxic” latex to keep the dust down.
There would be hardly any dust or noise (maybe a few daily explosions). And the big plus for Allegiance, since it would just be a “small” open pit mine with 240,000 tonnes/year, the whole process of applying for permits would only go through Ministry of Mines, which is a faster procedure. No Environmental Assessment would be required.
Any cause for concern? Not according to the Allegiance Coal delegates.