Mining

Coal Mining in the Oldman River Watershed: What is happening and what are the long-term impacts?

Feb 11 2021 - 10:00am

There is significant interest in establishing metallurgical coal mining operations throughout the eastern slopes of Alberta. The areas residing within the Oldman watershed are no exception. Currently, there are four companies exploring potential mining operations in the region. All of the currently proposed coal mines are open-pit “mountain top removal” mines and are located in the Crowsnest Pass area. Coal mining exploration is also happening along the Livingstone Range and in the Bighorn area west of Red Deer.

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Stop Work, Consult: Alberta Needs Public Hearings on the Future of Alberta’s Eastern Slopes

Last week, Premier Kenney’s Director of Strategic Planning was reported to have written that some of the strip-mining restrictions in the 1976 Coal Policy “will be restored.” Alberta Wilderness Association wants to be encouraged by this news. AWA hopes the firestorm of opposition the Kenney government has faced over rescinding that policy has convinced the government to restore restrictions. To that end, the Energy Minister should: Read More

Cancelling Leases, Pausing Lease Sales in Category 2 Lands – A Good First Step

Yesterday, Energy Minister Sonya Savage delivered a small, but important, reward to the thousands of Albertans and Canadians who have objected to the provincial government’s unilateral decision to revoke the 1976 Coal Policy. She announced that 11 leases sold in December would be cancelled. She also announced a “pause” in offering more lease parcels for sale in the Coal Policy’s Category 2 lands. Read More

Grassy Mountain Coal Project

The oral portion of the public hearing for Benga Mining Ltd.'s proposed Grassy Mountain Coal Project in the Crowsnest Pass concluded on December 2. The next step in the federal impact assessment process is for the Joint Review Panel to draft the Impact Assessment Report, Consultation Report, and recommend potential conditions for submission to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Grassy Mountain is the first of at least six mountain-top removal coal mines proposed by large Australian mining companies in various stages of regulatory approval in the region. There are more than 50,000 ha of the Old Man River headwaters under lease for future mountain-top removal mining.

Public hearing

Continuing the Sacrifice of the Eastern Slopes to Old King Coal

Yesterday, the Alberta government took another step towards turning Alberta’s Eastern Slopes into little more than a string of coal mines. Nearly 2,000 hectares of coal leases were offered for sale in the Rockies of southern Alberta. This offering, together with existing coal leases and applications for coal leases, confirms the government’s ambition to sacrifice the southern Alberta mountain landscape for coal. Read More

Locals and Conservationists raise concerns ahead of Grassy Mountain hearing

Ranchlands, Alberta – On October 27th, the joint Federal-Provincial review hearing will commence for the Grassy Mountain Coal project. Several groups are concerned how the mine will impact the environment and way of life. Benga Mining Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Riversdale Resources Ltd., is proposing to construct and operate an open-pit metallurgical coal mine near the Crowsnest Pass, approximately seven kilometres north of the community of the town of Blairmore. Read More

Government action holding oilsands operators to account on tailings management long overdue

Pembina Institute reacts to the Commission on Environmental Cooperation’s finding on oilsands tailings

CALGARY — Nina Lothian, director of responsible fossil fuels at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation's final report on Alberta tailings ponds, released Sept. 3, 2020, which found scientific evidence of contaminated water seeping into groundwater around oilsands tailings ponds. Read More

Issue Brief: Vista coal mine expansion

Updated: September 3, 2020

The Coalspur Vista mine is one of the largest thermal coal mines in Canada, and the proposed expansion could almost triple its capacity. Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson declined in December 2019 to order a federal impact assessment, but he reversed this decision on July 30 so the project will undergo a federal impact assessment. Coalspur Mines has launched a legal challenge to the Minister's decision.

Latest updates

Canada agrees federal impact assessment necessary for mine expansion near Hinton, Alberta

EDMONTON, AB – CPAWS applauds the decision by the federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson, to approve the request for a federal impact assessment for a proposed thermal coal mine expansion near Hinton, Alberta. The decision shows Minister Wilkinson understands the serious need to assess adverse environmental impacts that result from outdated thermal coal mining. Read More

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