Council is sending a letter to the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines, & Petroleum Resources expressing concerns about the proposed Bingay Main Coal Project.
The $380 million initiative is earmarked for 1,115 hectares (HA) north of Elkford, mining near the confluence of Bingay Creek and the Elk River.
McKerracher, who has been the head of council for 12 years, says every year the proponent, Centermount, presents to the District government and every year details around the project are different.
He asserts there continues to be uncertainty around certain aspects of the work and the company still doesn’t know why they are going to ship the coal out of the valley.
It’s estimated if they transported by truck, there would be 30-40 vehicles running through the community every day and McKerracher says that’s just not an option.
He adds there’s been talk of Centermount accessing the railroad above Teck’s Greenhills operation but no decisions have been made.
Regardless, the mayor says they will remain opposed to the project until the company addresses the environmental issues.
Following an open house in Elkford last month, McKerracher insists residents are against the initiative as well and so they’re firm with their decision.
He explains the representatives from Centermount who attended the forum couldn’t answer most of the questions from the public or council.
The Bingay project plans to mine coal for 13 years and create an estimated 200 jobs.
However, McKerracher didn’t seem concerned about missing out on any potential economic benefits.
Elkford is a town created to support workers at the mines and he suggests the District initially offered to assist Centermount with building a subdivision for their employees but that topic of discussion hasn’t been brought up since.
McKerracher says that offer is still on the table but there seems to be too many uncertainties.
It’s expected the company will present to Council again sometime this year.
– Elkford Mayor Dean McKerracher