The MLA for Kootenay East wants more input on an estimated $380 million coal mine planned near Elkford.
Tom Shypitka is holding a town hall meeting 6pm Thursday night at the district’s Community Conference Centre to discuss the proposed Bingay Main Coal project.
He says there’s been a lot of concern around the environmental impact of the development from residents.
“Its a big issue, it has a big economic impact, but it also has environmental concerns attached to it as well,” Shypitka says. “I really want to make the effort to hear everybody’s voice and make sure those voices are heard when we make a final decision on these issues.”
The District of Elkford recently announced they no longer support the long-planned project.
Shypitka says he understands the concerns of council.
“They are at ground zero, so to speak, and so their concerns are valid,” Shypitka says. “I understand that mining in general has built this entire valley, but at the same time I understand there’s always two sides to every story and there’s lots of impacts this mine will create, as far as recreational impacts and environmental impacts.”
Proponents are looking to mine coal for 13 years along Bingay Creek and the Elk River, potentially creating 200 jobs.
– Kootenay East MLA, Tom Shypitka