Monday, June 17, 2013

The case of Peat. Moving Labrador forward.

Just a bit of underlying reasons why a Peat mining operation could be a major boon for Labrador communities up and down the coast. Offering multiple scalable benefits to all communities. Even though green groups have dismay towards peat mining, the benefits are very tough to ignore. And of course Labrador is blessed with many types of peat resource. Very few which would need to be harvested. And that which is would be done so under best practices of the International Peat Society. And only by the much preferred wet harvesting Technic  which not only preserves the bogs or mires, but spurs additional carbon capture then what was originally present.

 First off, any mining start up would be small. Both for economic and resource assessment needs. Potential sites would need proving. Equipment would need to be prepared and tested. This really is an odd venture in terms of harvesting equipment. Much more on that later. Products would have to be prioritized. There are numerous products available. And to my notion, the products which could benefit  Labrador communities directly would be the first choice. The products that can spawn income would have to be investigated.

The most obvious products are:

Energy Products - Not only pelletized peat, but also pelletized peat incorporating excess forestry cuttings and later peat converted to natural gas. And in the long run, Methane collection straight from the marshes and bogs could be explored.

Filter Media - Peat is natures most versatile filtering agent. Being uniquely usable in cold northern climates as well. And is also handy for spill clean up. Here is an excellent chance to address sewage treatment issues in all Labrador communities.

Horticulture - Here is the typical use of peat. Both as a soil improver for moisture retention and in secondary means in the form of peat containers. Which could prove a good over winter job activity during those months. All without the fuel intensive, rough on the bog system of harvesting peat in that current industry.

In the long term pelletized and log peat would be a desirable product for home heating. Pellets could also replace those dirty diesel electric plants up and down the coast. Relegating the diesel units as back up. They could even be converted to run on natural gas derived from the peat later. This is clearly the number one justification on mining the peat. And will eventually lead to opportunities for in Labrador jobs in directly mining, and in processing the peat. Also in transporting and marketing the peat in our communities.

 In this vein it would be most economical to ship the peat in bulk and offload it by vacuum lift into bulk storage bins not unlike Grain silos. Once offloaded, they could be dumped into bulk containers on vehicles or bagged for local use. Eventually bulk natural gas could be also offloaded and sold via a filling station. Obviously other bulk tanks would address local power stations. Or fill orders for filtering media.