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Quarry applies to expand storage

Application is part of Fraser Surrey Docks proposal to transship coal to Asia

Texada Quarrying Ltd. (TQ) has applied to the provincial government to amend its permit to increase its coal storage capability.

The quarry, which is owned by Lafarge Canada Inc., is developing plans to expand the area that is used to stockpile and transship coal. According to the company, the volume of coal that will need to be stockpiled will increase to 800,000 tonnes.

The project is part of a proposal by Fraser Surrey Docks (FSD) to build coal-handling facilities within its existing terminal operations that would allow for the direct transfer of coal from trains to barges. The barges would carry coal to TQ through the Sabine Channel, located between Texada and Lasqueti islands, where it would be transferred to deep-sea vessels for export to Asia.

FSD forecasts it would handle two million metric tonnes in 2013, increasing to four million in 2014. The coal would be delivered to Texada by two barges carrying 8,000 tonnes every two days in 2013, increasing to two barges a day in 2014 to 2017. While FSD’s application is specific up to year five, the full build-out of the proposal is for eight million tonnes of coal to be exported starting in year six.

Currently, TQ handles between 350,000 to 400,000 tonnes of coal annually from Hillsborough Resources Limited for its Quinsam mine operations near Campbell River on Vancouver Island.

As well, TQ has an agreement with Coalmont to handle more coal.

Andre Balfe, TQ’s general manager, sent an email to the Peak, which stated that the company “seeks to expand its ability to make full use of our deep water port for transshipping commodities. We have been safely transshipping coal for over 20 years. The permit amendment filed last week would allow us to make upgrades and adjustments on our site in preparation for further coal, or other commodity, volumes.”

Lafarge has submitted a stormwater management plan as part of its expansion plans “to mitigate the potential environmental effects associated with the release of coal sediments into the surrounding marine environment.”

The quarry has three individual loading facilities and a material staging and stockpiling area that is about four hectares located on the northwest end of Texada. The intent is to expand the area available for stockpiling materials to about six hectares.

The stormwater management plan is similar to the design used around the coal stockpiles of the Richmond Cement Plant, according to the company’s application. It plans to use a water infiltration pond to allow stormwater runoff to seep into the grounds and into the adjacent estuary.

Members of the public have 30 days to make written submissions about the application.

The company’s application is available at the Texada Public Library or by clicking here.

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