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"Slip, sliding away..."
04-01-2013, 06:38 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-02-2013, 12:39 PM by Skook.)
RE: "Slip, sliding away..."
Part 3 - You’re building your dream on a gravel deposit? Bummer!

You have found your ideal property. It’s forested ocean view acreage on the Sunshine Coast somewhere between Sechelt and Pender Harbour. You’ve walked the land and know what trees you want to keep and which to remove and have milled. The work begins and after the trees are felled and moved off the landscaping begins and you discover part of your land has a substantial deposit of really nice gravel. So, you think, “I made some money from the trees, so maybe I can make some money from the gravel.” But, you’re going to need a licence for that and you head to the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas website:

[Image: attachment.php?aid=73]

You click the “Launch” button and on the next page you’ve been told to click “View Mineral Tenures” and then zoom in to the Sunshine Coast on the pop-up map. You keep zooming in until the Sunshine Coast fills the screen and you stare at the map in disbelief.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=74]

You ask yourself, “What do all those mauve boxes mean?” The answer is - well, think “kitty litter.”

A Little History:
In 2001, the Geological Survey Branch of the then Ministry of Energy and Mines with funding and support of other government agencies initiated the “Sunshine Coast Aggregate Mapping Project.” The project was to “outline exploited and known aggregate resources as well as potential new deposits.” The extent of that survey can be seen in the map below which also indicates where natural aggregate pits were found. The picture on the right shows one such pit. (Can you see the similarity between those layers and the layers exposed in the Whidbey Island landslide?)

[Image: attachment.php?aid=75]

This 2001 study was but one in a long line of studies stretching back to 1968 and more would come in the future. One study dated March 31, 2004 and titled ‘Market Analysis Coast Aggregate Development Opportunities’ was a turning point. Whereas in the past, studies aimed to find cheap resources for the lower mainland’s growth, this study aimed to find potential American markets for the exporting of our aggregate resources and exploit the incredible growth occurring in the western United States. The Gordon Campbell government was determined to open the doors to mineral exploration and extraction; to cut the red tape; and, stream line the whole process - and it would all be aided by the internet.

This new online process; the current tenures on the map above; and, the reference to ‘kitty litter’ are explained in an April 19, 2005 news story by The Tyee:

Company Grabs Mining Rights to Premier’s Land

The Tyee followed with another piece on June 14, 2006 which is also worth a read:

‘War Brewing’ over Mining Rights in Rural BC

Pan Pacific Aggregates caused quite a stink on the lower Sunshine Coast and after a few years of bad publicity the company decided to change its name and lie low for a while by moving off into the Fraser Valley. It is now called Astar Minerals PLC and it owns and operates the Quadling Quarry between Abbotsford and Chilliwack. I am sure it is now much easier to raise investment money back in the U.K. - yes, it’s a small British company with great big dreams.

But as the current mineral tenures map shows, they haven’t given up on the Sunshine Coast just yet. (The MTO mapping site allows you to call up Historical Tenures, too, and I have included it for interest sake. I remember being told there were gold mining claims staked out somewhere off Egmont Road and Google does bring up many other such old claims for the upper coast.)

As for that 2001 mapping project, the result is below. It is referred to as an ‘open’ map and is dated 2002-14.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=76]

As the map indicates, the communities occupying the whole southern tip of the peninsula (Granthams Landing, Hopkins, Landing, Gibsons, south Elphinstone) have been built on a primary source of aggregate and for that reason the area has been given a “low” priority; likewise, Selma Park is red. My next and final post about gravel makes you wonder if all who live there should be concerned.

(Aside: Given that mineral rights in BC supersede landowner rights which could result in the loss of a landowner’s home; isn't the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas additional ‘Responsibility’ ironic?)

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Messages In This Thread
"Slip, sliding away..." - by Skook - 03-29-2013, 11:12 AM
RE: "Slip, sliding away..." - by Skook - 03-31-2013, 10:55 AM
RE: "Slip, sliding away..." - by Skook - 04-01-2013, 06:38 AM
RE: "Slip, sliding away..." - by Skook - 04-02-2013, 12:27 PM
More dirt... - by Skook - 04-18-2013, 01:58 PM

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