OTTAWA — The federal government says the proposed Grassy Mountain coal project in southwestern Alberta cannot proceed.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson made the announcement in a release.
He said while mining is important to the economy, coal can include significant adverse environmental effects.
Wilkinson said the decision was based on information, including the findings of a joint review panel report.
He said the project would have likely caused harm to surface-water quality, threatened species including the westslope cutthroat trout and whitebark pine trees, and the physical and cultural heritage of the Kainai, Piikani, and Siksika First Nations.
Benga Mining Limited has said the proposed metallurgical coal mine in the Crowsnest Pass area would create hundreds of jobs and produce up to 4.5 million tonnes of coal per year over a mine life of about 23 years.
"The Government of Canada must make decisions based on the best available scientific evidence while balancing economic and environmental considerations," Wilkinson said in the release Friday.
"It is in Canada's best interests to safeguard our waterways for healthy fish populations like the westslope cutthroat trout, respect Indigenous peoples' culture and way of life, and protect the environment for future generations."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 6, 2021
The Canadian Press