A aerial photo of the lots that will be consolidated.

A aerial photo of the lots that will be consolidated.

Rio Tinto given six-month extension for lot consolidation

The change in government caused a six-month delay

Rio Tinto B.C. Works has been granted a six-month extension by the District of Kitimat to consolidate eight separate district lots that the plant spans into a single lot.

Council voted unanimously to extend the original December 31, 2017, deadline set for consolidation, to June 30 next year to give Rio Tinto time to complete the process.

B.C.Works spokesperson Kevin Dobbin said consolidating the smelter lots into a single lot would mean buildings would no longer be crossing property boundaries.

“Single lot consolidation was required by the District of Kitimat during construction of KMP because some buildings, including the potlines, crossed property boundaries, which is not permitted under the Building Code,” said Dobbin.

At the time of the modernization project, a covenant was entered into allowing the project to go ahead for the building of potlines across property boundaries “until such time as the consolidation is completed and filed at the land title office”.

Clause (2)(d) of Covenant CA2420934 has now been amended to read “30 June 2018” instead of the original December 31 date.

Between 2009 and 2012 the DoK granted eight Development Variance Permits (DVPs) for various buildings associated with the modernization project, each permit approving construction across property lines.

The permits also waived requirements for either or both separation between buildings on the same lot, and setbacks from side and rear property lines.

Buildings and structures received a permit conditional on a restrictive covenant to treat the affected lots as a single parcel.

The eight structures included a potline, reduction services, connecting walkways at the KMP village, stores, an aluminium silo and pipe, and alloy storage.

A report submitted to council by DoK staff reads: “By 2012, (Rio Tinto) determined there were business advantages to consolidating smelter site parcels to create a single property.

This intention was reflected in Clause (2)(d) of Covenant CA2420934. This covenant and above (permits) will be discharged once the smelter property is consolidated.”

When asked about possible tax advantages, Dobbin said: “As far as we understand, no changes to Rio Tinto’s taxes are expected due to consolidation.”

While the company was granted an extension for lot consolidation, the DoK is not involved in the process.

Rio Tinto is working with the B.C. Surveyor General and other provincial officials, and the process was on track until the change in government earlier this year, which added six months to the process.

“Talks will reconvene early in 2018, and a legal survey plan will eventually be filed directly with the B.C. Land Title and Survey Authority (LTSA),” reads the report.

Under budget implications for the DoK, the report states two items still need to be determined: “Some land currently owned by RTA will be transferred to LNG Canada. Assessed value of RTA smelter site may be adjusted by B.C. Assessment.”