CEC president and chief operations officer Stephen Ellis was present for a meeting with the provincial Environmental Assessment Office and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
The EAO rejected its environmental assessment certificate for the Raven coal project in the Comox Valley region, according to the Comox Valley Record.
Ellis said Itochu and subsidiary I-Comox Coal “signaled an intention” to leave the joint venture but so far had not given formal notice of their departure.
Itochu holds 20% of the JV and LG International Investments owns another 20%. The 60% balance is held by Compliance.
“If Itochu was to withdraw, it does not have an overall effect on the joint venture,” Ellis said.
“We will still continue.”
Ellis told the paper that CEC and the government agency were “working in harmony” on the project to take it forward.
“We put a sample section together … they’ve had that for a month to review,” he said, noting that some revisions had to be done.
“It is a process … it can be difficult at times but we are getting through it.”
Ellis said CEC could resubmit its application in about four to six months.
The comments on Itochu’s departure come just days after a regulatory filing from CEC appeared to indicate the withdrawal was a done deal.
While the filing said it had provided notice of its intent, it did not mention dates or provide any formal appendix documentation regarding the decision.
Also, according to management discussion and analysis in the filing, all CEC Vancouver Island exploration properties are on “care and maintenance” until either another partner is found or until capital markets improve and additional capital can be obtained for further exploration.