The Canadian Government has formally blocked the proposed Grassy Mountain Coal Project in the province of Alberta, citing potential environmental impacts.
The decision was taken after assessing the independent panel’s report and other available information.
In a statement, Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson noted that the project would impact surface water quality and threaten the habitat of local animal and plant species.
Wilkinson said: “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.”
Notably, Benga Mining proposed the construction of an open-pit metallurgical coal mine near the Crowsnest Pass around 7km from Blairmore, south-west Alberta.
Subsequently, Alberta Energy Regulator established an independent Joint Review Panel to evaluate the impact of the project. The panel also conducted public consultations to receive feedback from all stakeholders.
The panel warned the project will not be in the public interest.
If approved, the project would have produced 4.5 million tonnes of processed coal annually over a mine-life of 25 years.
The mine would also have generated around $1.36bn (C$1.7bn) in taxes and employed 400 people, according to a Reuters report.
Earlier this year, the Canadian Government announced its decision that it will not approve new thermal coal mining projects or existing mine project expansions.