Plan for Crowsnest Move coal mine withdrawn by Australian firm

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An Australian coal firm is withdrawing its plan for a mine within the Crowsnest Move area of the jap slopes of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.

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“The coal mine, in our minds, is a no-go,” mentioned Peter Doyle, CEO of Montem Assets, which had proposed to redevelop the Tent Mountain web site to provide steelmaking coal.

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In a letter filed Tuesday, Montem Assets requested the Alberta Power Regulator to finish the environmental influence evaluation for the proposal.

“Montem Assets Alberta Operations Ltd. won’t be finishing up the resumption of mining actions on the venture,” it says.

The choice brings to an finish a short-lived resurgence of coal mining in Alberta, which started in 2020 when the United Conservative authorities revoked a decades-old coverage that blocked open-pit coal mines within the jap slopes of the Rockies. Inside a 12 months, hundreds of hectares had been staked for coal exploration up and down the province’s western boundary.

However that much-loved panorama can also be the water supply for hundreds of thousands of Albertans. Opening these summits and foothills to growth provoked a extreme and widespread backlash that ran from city environmentalists to small-town mayors to nation music stars.

The federal government commissioned a committee to canvass Albertans on the problem. After its report, then-energy minister Sonya Savage reinstated the protections of the unique coverage and blocked coal growth within the space.

4 tasks had been exempted from Savage’s ministerial order. Tent Mountain was certainly one of them.

One other, the Grassy Mountain proposal, was denied provincial and federal permits after an environmental assessment. A 3rd, the Vista thermal coal venture, faces a federal assessment and has been instructed that such tasks are inconsistent with Ottawa’s plans to battle local weather change.

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The fourth, Valory Assets’ Mine 14 proposal for an underground mine for steelmaking coal close to Hinton, Alta., doesn’t face a federal assessment and is anticipated to use for provincial permits.

Doyle mentioned Montem is to focus its efforts on plans to show the Tent Mountain web site, which hasn’t produced coal since 1983, right into a renewable vitality facility. The corporate proposes to make use of wind energy to pump water to a storage pond partway up the mountain and generate electrical energy as it’s launched again downhill.

He mentioned Montem’s latest settlement with Alberta utility firm TransAlta, which has agreed to pay as much as $25 million for half of the venture, “crystallized” the corporate’s deal with the pump hydro venture.

“We’re full steam forward on our new partnership with TransAlta,” mentioned Doyle. “(It’s) an incredible win for everyone.”

Doyle mentioned earlier plans to make use of the generated electrical energy to separate water molecules and create hydrogen have been put aside.

“There’s no viable water supply,” he mentioned.

He mentioned Montem will make a remaining funding resolution on the venture in 2025.

Katie Morrison of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, which vigorously opposed the growth of coal mining within the Rockies, welcomed the Tent Mountain announcement.

“It’s a constructive signal that we’re seeing these tasks both die on the regulator or the proponents … reinventing them as one thing new,” she mentioned.

“We nonetheless must look fastidiously at what the impacts of that hydro station could be in that atmosphere, however it’s definitely higher than an enormous coal mine.”