At the May 9 council meeting the District of Port Edward threw their support behind plans to re-open a granite mine on Smith Island, located near the mouth of the Skeena River.
The proposed start date for the mine, which is being championed by Edgeworth Construction Ltd. of Kelowna, is March 1, 2012 with a proposed finish date of December 31, 2041. During the course of the mine’s life the company estimated extracting 250,000 tonnes per year, with the total minable reserves over the life of the mine sitting at 7.1 million tonnes. The project includes three phases of development.
According to the application submitted to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum, “the mining and pit operations will be continuous, with most mining occurring between April and October, with activities driven by demand for the product”.
The property is currently owned by Quantum Granite Ltd of Courtenay and 95 per cent of the site has already been disturbed by logging operations, including a logging road that leads to a barge loading and log sort site that is being proposed as the location of a barge loading ramp for the gravel.
Chief administrative officer Ron Bedard noted that potential port development is being attributed to a number of granite mine and quarry proposals in the area, and council said this one in particular sounds solid.
“This is not the first time that mine has come up, but this operation seems the most serious and most likely to move forward…There was logging in the area 15-20 years ago, so the residents nearby shouldn’t be terribly offended by it,” said councilor Murray Kristoff.
“We should be behind this. It is on an existing lot and an area that has been disturbed before so I think it is a good idea,” added councilor Knut Bjorndal.