OTTAWA, ON – A final decision in the Grassy Mountain Coal saga has been made.
The federal government is rejecting the Benga Mining project with Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson saying it’s likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.
Most notably, the decision shows concern for surface water quality (including selenium effluent discharge); Westslope Cutthroat Trout; Whitebark Pine and physical and cultural heritage of the Kainai, Piikani and Siksika First Nations.
“The Government of Canada must make decisions based on the best available scientific evidence while balancing economic and environmental considerations. It is in Canada’s best interests to safeguard our water ways for healthy fish populations like the Westslope Cutthroat Trout, respect Indigenous peoples’ culture and way of life, and protect the environment for future generations.” — The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Benga Mining was hoping to construct and operate an open-pit metallurgical coal mine near the Crowsnest Pass, just north of Blairmore.
It’s projected production capacity was pegged at 4.5 million tonnes of processed coal per year over about 25 years.
The Joint Review Panel, acting as a hearing panel for the Alberta Energy Regulator, submitted its final report in mid-June and concluded the Benga Mining Limited project was also not in the public interest.