What’s New?

Provincial Government Grants McNab EAC

BURNCO is pleased to announce that the provincial government has granted an environmental assessment certificate for the McNab Aggregate Project. Read the provincial news release here.


SCRD Committee Hears BURNCO

For the better part of a decade, BURNCO has been working hard to have the project at McNab Creek on the west side of Howe Sound, British Columbia, go forward while minimizing environmental impacts and continuing to uphold its responsibilities to the entire community.

Derek Holmes, BURNCO’s land and resource manager, addressed the Corporate Administrative Services Committee on the Sunshine Coast and detailed BURNCO’s environmental review process, public engagement and stakeholder outreach efforts during the assessment. Holmes also stated that BURNCO will develop a community advisory group and detailed how a community enhancement fund will take money from every tonne of aggregate removed and put it right back into the community.

As the mine proposal process continues, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) has indicated that the mine is not likely to cause significant environmental effects and Ministers will make a decision on the review within weeks.  BURNCO remains committed to ensuring environmental sustainability, transparency and public engagement going forward including the voices of Squamish First Nation members who support the project.

Read the article here.



Environmental Assessment Complete

Thank you to everyone who participated in the EA review of the BURNCO Howe Sound Project.  Your feedback has been greatly appreciated and has helped shape the Project to be better for everyone.  A final decision on the review is expected at the end of March.


Provincial Comment Period Closes

The final provincial public comment period closed on November 27th.  Thank you to all stakeholders who took the time to submit a comment.


Public Comment Period

The public are invited to comment on the outcome of the environmental assessment until November 27th.  Please visite the  BC EAO website to submit yours.  Open and transparent communication between proponents and stakeholders on the design and operation of proposed projects is one part of the social licence process in the province of BC and important to developing world class projects.


“Why here? Can’t you get gravel somewhere else?”

Through the course of the Public Information Sessions in Squamish, Gibsons and West Vancouver we had the opportunity to speak to many people interested in the Project and one of the questions we heard often was, “Why here? Can’t you get gravel somewhere else?”. We fully understand and respect that this question stems from people’s love and appreciation for the beauty of the area. We appreciate it as well, just as we appreciate the special attributes of every area where we operate. One reason our employees live where they do is because of their appreciation for their environment whether that be the unending vistas of wheat and canola fields in the prairies, the rolling hills and mountains of the Foothills and Rockies, the lush green valley of the Okanagan or the natural beauty of the Lower Mainland and Howe Sound. With over 100 years of operations under our belt we have always, and will always continue to respect the areas where we operate. We feel confident we can co-exist within all of our natural environments, make respectful, environmentally sensitive interim use of our sites, and leave behind lands in either as good or better condition than we found them. And that is definitely the case in this Project.

So ultimately the answer to that question is yes, we can get gravel elsewhere, and we will, but that doesn’t negate our commitment to this Project as well. Sourcing good gravel deposits is always top of mind for BURNCO. In fact as soon as we permit one project we are on the lookout for another in order to meet the constant demand for gravel and ensure a steady supply of aggregate to the market. To put it into perspective, the volume of aggregate we are applying to mine through this project is up to 20 million tonnes, which by itself wouldn’t even fulfill the need required in the Lower Mainland for one year — 30 million tonnes. So that said, we are seeking other locations, and take many different factors into consideration through the process. Unfortunately gravel isn’t found everywhere. And once a deposit is covered by development, it is lost forever thus limiting from where we can access it.

In respect to this Project, there are many reasons this particular site was chosen, reasons we believe eliminate concerns that we might encounter elsewhere. It is because of these reasons that we have pursued this project, engaging independent scientists to study the area to help us best understand the issues, and develop a project we can take pride in.

– The area from which the aggregates are proposed to be extracted is a flat terrain, easily concealed by a berm and tree buffer meaning the excavation area will not be seen (it’s not on the side of a mountain) from any perspective other than by air.

– The processing area on site can also be concealed by three layers of buffer – 50 foot tall stockpiles, 30 foot tall berm, and 150 foot tall existing tree buffer which means the noise from the site will not be significant.

– The deposit is amid groundwater which means we can extract it with a floating clam shell dredge and bring the product up wet mitigating the dust we have in other operations.

– Existing BC Hydro transmission lines are on-site which means we can run our machinery electrically reducing greenhouse gas emissions that would be present on another site, also contributing to a reduction in noise.

– The processed gravel will be shipped to market via barge, an option we don’t have at most sites we consider, but one that makes a big difference from the perspective of greenhouse gas emissions, efficiency and cost. An inland site would require 416 trucks per every barge load of gravel, that’s a lot of truck traffic.

– The proximity of the site to Vancouver and the Lower Mainland means the final cost of the gravel used to build our roads, schools, hospitals and homes will be lower.

This site adjacent to McNab Creek is one that when we purchased it had been a location of heavy industrial use for over 100 years. We have already started the clean-up of the land, in fact we recently barged out over 1,000 tires that were strewn about by previous owners. We believe we can continue to have a major impact on the clean-up of our site, and influence future uses of the area at reclamation when all we’ll leave behind is a fresh water lake.

As a fourth generation, private, Canadian company we feel confident we are the right company to pursue this project. We are Canadians committed to protecting the beauty of our country while providing a much needed product to help us continue to grow and fuel our economy.



BURNCO Rock Products Ltd today announced it has completed more than seven years of independent scientific studies and has now submitted the application to both the provincial and federal government regulators for the BURNCO Aggregate Project in Howe Sound.

“We have developed a plan with input from Government, Aboriginal Groups, scientists and the public for this project and have considered the comments and concerns raised to improve our approach and build an environmentally responsible proposal,” said Mike Powell, CEO of BURNCO. “We took the feedback we received through our public consultation efforts, engaged numerous experts in their field to assess each potential effect and concern and made many changes to improve our project.”

“BURNCO is committed to avoiding, reducing or otherwise mitigating potential effects of our proposal through design features, best management practices and other mitigation measures,” said Powell. “The conclusion of our exhaustive studies is that, with the application of design considerations and identified mitigation, no significant adverse effects will result.”

The application has been filed with both the Provincial (EAO) and Federal (CEAA) regulatory bodies. The results of the scientific studies are contained within the application and are available below and on the EAO and CEAA websites. Electronic versions of the application will be available for viewing at the following libraries: Gibsons and District Public Library, Bowen Island Public Library, West Vancouver Memorial Library, Squamish Public Library and Sechelt Public Library.

Environmental Assessment Certificate Application/Environmental Impact Statement (EAC Application/EIS) for the Proposed BURNCO Aggregate Project (July 2016)

Stand-Alone Summaries

PART A – Introduction and Background

  • Table of Contents
  • Table of Concordance
  • Preface to the EAC Application/EIS
  • Acronyms and Abbreviations
  • Executive Summary
  • 1.0 Purposed of the EAC Application/EIS
  • 2.0 Proposed Project Overview
  • 3.0 Assessment Process

PART B – Assessment of Potential Effects, Including Cumulative Effects, Proposed Mitigation Measures, and the Significance of any Residual Effects

PART C – Aboriginal Information Requirements

  • 10.0 Background Information
  • 11.0 Assessment of Potential Effects on Aboriginal Rights, including Current Use
  • 12.0 Other Aboriginal Interests
  • 13.0 Aboriginal Consultation
  • 14.0 Summary of Potential Effects on Aboriginal Rights, including Current Use

PART D – Federal Information Requirements

  • 15.0 Requirements for Federal Environmental Assessments

PART E – Environmental Management

  • 16.0 Environmental Management Program
  • 17.0 Environmental Monitoring and Follow-Up Programs

PART F – Conclusions and Commitments

  • 18.0 Summary of Residual Effects
  • 19.0 Summary of Commitments and Assurances
  • 20.0 Conclusion

PART G – References and Appendices

Public Open Houses will be held within the 45-day formal Public Comment Period. Notification of those Open Houses will appear in the following newspapers: The Local, Sunshine Coast Reporter, The Chief, The North Shore News and Bowen Island Undercurrent.

Public Notice Ad


Application Information Requirements/Environmental Impact Statement (AIR/EIS) Guidelines Approved

The BC Environmental Assessment Office (BCEAO) and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEA Agency) have issued the final approved AIR/EIS Guidelines which describe the questions that are to be answered and the information to be contained in an Environmental Assessment Certificate Application for the proposed BURNCO Aggregate Project.  In finalizing this document, the BCEAO and the CEA Agency considered comments received from the public, government agencies and First Nations, BURNCO’s written responses to issues raised, and revisions made to the draft AIR/EIS Guidelines in response to these issues and concerns.

The following documentation of the AIR/EIS Guideline review and approval is available through the BCEAO website:

Approved AIR/EIS Guidelines for the Proposed BURNCO Aggregate Project

 Documentation of Technical Working Group Review

 Documentation of Public Review


Project Update

There have been some revisions to the BURNCO Aggregate Project since last fall when we presented our project at a series of Public Open Houses.

Although the components of the proposed Project remain the same, there have been refinements to the size and orientation of some of these components following more detailed engineering design of the processing area and the associated system of tunnels and above ground conveyors.  The nature, extent, and rationale for these changes are being provided to the provincial and federal government agencies responsible for reviewing the Project.  Click here to see a copy of our letter describing and illustrating the changes.

The letter also provides some of the key revisions to the Application Information Requirements that have been made in response to comments received from the Aboriginal groups, the Technical Working Group and the public.

These recent refinements do not affect the scope of the Project for the purpose of the ongoing environmental assessment.  In light of these refinements, potential air quality, noise and visual quality effects of the proposed Project have been re-modelled and re-assessed.  The proposed changes will be reflected in the revised Application Information Requirements/Environmental Impact Statement Guidelines (AIR/EIS Guidelines), and the subsequent Environmental Assessment Certificate Application/Environmental Impact Statement (EAC Application/EIS), once submitted.


Ongoing Education

BURNCO is pleased to participate in and support adult education initiatives in the community.

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