The proponent of a controversial proposed Sumas Mountain quarry is looking to sell off his right to minerals on the site, according to the province.
Details of the proposed sale are few, but suggest the much-criticized application to remove up to 4,000 truckloads of gravel from the site each year may be abandoned.
Last March, the owner of a mining lease in the area submitted a proposed plan to extract 59,000 tonnes of material from the site for up to 50 years. The plan, by a Kamloops company, has drawn almost universal condemnation in the Fraser Valley. The City of Abbotsford and Fraser Valley Regional District have each come out strongly against the proposal, and a variety of local organizations – led by the Fraser Valley Mountain Biking Association (FVMBA) – have also raised the alarm.
The city is worried about the effect of increased truck traffic on its roads, while hikers and bikers say the mine would result in the loss of some of the province’s best trails.
”It would close the mountain,” Rocky Blondin of the FVMBA told The News late last year.
The FVRD, meanwhile, said it would need to grant a permit for the mine to proceed, and suggested that was highly unlikely. It also derided the lack of consultation with local groups.
The province said it granted a one-year extension in December, but that was done because the leaseholder could not sell a lease that had expired.