Coal mining is a proud part of Nanaimo’s history, but it’s also posing a potential challenge for the future. The aging network of mines beneath the City could put infrastructure above ground at risk. A portion of Pine Street collapsed in October after the mine below caved in.
Tonight, City Council will be asked to considering supporting a Coal Mines Investigation Study. Poul Rosen is Acting Senior Manager of Engineering. He says they have a basic understanding of where the mines are located, but the study would provide other important details.
Rosen an initial study would determine which mines are most likely to collapse and what areas are at the greatest risk. He says the study, done in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Mines, would cost about $50,000. Once those areas have been identified, they can take preventative steps to avoid a larger problem down the road. He says the City has an obligation to make sure things like roads aren’t at risk due to hazards like old coal mines.