05/17/2013 20:20 EDT | Updated 07/17/2013 05:12 EDT

Vancouver Island coal mine application rejected

A controversial application to open a coal mine in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island has been rejected as inadequate by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office.

In a statement issued on May 16, the office said Compliance Energy’s application for the Raven Coal Mine near Fanny Bay "does not contain the required information."

While the EAO left the door open for the company to resubmit the application, the news was welcomed by local environmentalists who have fought the project for years.

“The Environmental Assessment Office has acknowledged the serious gaps in information in this application and sent the company back to the drawing board,” said Torrance Coste, the Wilderness Committee’s Vancouver Island Campaigner.

Coste noted the EAO's 114-page review of the application documented hundreds of deficiencies in the application, including "a lack of consultation with First Nations, insufficient information around local drinking water and air quality impacts, and failure to explain how effects of industrial waste and tailings would be mitigated over the long term."

“The decision serves to highlight this company's utter lack of commitment to the local communities, First Nations and our shared environment, and is just another indication that this mine doesn't belong on Vancouver Island," he said.