June 15th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 24
Riversdale and the CNP Golf Course
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Workers on the Crowsnest Pass Golf and Country Club
Pass Herald Reporter
The proposal to build mining infrastructure on the site of its lower nine holes is an excellent opportunity for the community golf course says Crowsnest Pass Golf and Country Club superintendent Waren Geitz.

Once the lower nine holes are removed and rebuilt to make way for a coal mine, the redesigned course will be a “world class” destination, he said.

“We see it as a great opportunity to compete with other courses in the region,” Geitz told about two-dozen attendees at a Crowsnest Pass Chamber of Commerce luncheon on June 8. “People will come from afar to play… It’s really going to put us on the map.”

In the fall of 2014, Benga Mining, a subsidiary of Riversdale Resources, approached the Crowsnest Pass Golf and Country Club about locating a coal loading facility and rail loop on the course for the Grassy Mountain Coal Project.

The proposed load out would be bordered by the 11th hole and would be about 18 meters below the fairway. It would load about five trains per week when and if the mine is producing four million tonnes of coal per year.

In addition to the holes, the clubhouse, cart shack and maintenance building would also be lost but Riversdale executives are promising to replace the infrastructure.

The new holes are to be built to the west of Blairmore Creek. The clubhouse would be rebuilt where the driving range is now. Construction is expected to take two to three years and the course would be open and playable the whole time, said Geitz.
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Geitz said the project is an excellent opportunity for the golf course. The course only had nine holes until 1997 when another nine were added. Geitz said those holes have aged to the point where they require major renovations to bring them up to the standards of newer mountain courses.

“The fact that these older holes are doing is a big positive for us,” said Geitz. “To do it on our own would have taken us decades with our revenue streams.”

Permitting is underway and a tentative construction start date is scheduled for August.

Anthony Martin, Riversdale’s chief financial officer, said that prior to entering into the development phase, both the golf club and Riversdale would enter into an agreement governing how the development would.
He said the agreement would be wide ranging and cover many areas including the source of funding.

“It is true that there are always risks involved in these processes but the agreement is intended to minimize the exposure for both parties,” said Martin. “But particularly to the golf course members in respect of any financial risk and the risk of being left without a full playable course at all times.”
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Geitz said the golf club and Riversdale would have a contract in place before any work starts.

“We may end up with a golf course and they may not end up with a mine,” he said.

Gary Browning of Browning Design Inc. has been selected to design the course.

Browning’s resume includes courses all over Western Canada including Canmore’s Stewart Creek Golf Resort, which has received international acclaim as one of the finest destination golf resorts in the Canadian Rockies.

Last year, Riversdale filed applications for provincial and federal approval of the Grassy Mountain Coal Mine project. The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) informed Riversdale Resources that the impact assessment was incomplete. The review process was paused until the deficiencies identified were addressed. Riversdale has stated that the EIA would be resubmitted on July 29.
June 15th ~ Vol. 85 No. 24
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