Coal companies hope to move forward with mines in Alberta despite roadblocks


Two coal companies planning to develop mines in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains say they hope to move forward despite new regulatory and political roadblocks. 

Riversdale Resources, which had its proposed Benga Mine denied last week by regulators, says in a statement it will study the decision to ensure it was fair and not what it calls an “anti-development” decision.

Montem Resources, which seeks to develop a mine just north of Benga’s, says it still wants to know if it will face a federal environmental review and is seeking guidance from regulators on how it might be affected by the Riversdale ruling. 

Montem calls the Canadian regulatory environment increasingly uncertain.

The coal industry has faced a series of setbacks in recent weeks. 

Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has said thermal coal mines no longer fit with federal climate-change policy and any coal mine that might release the contaminant selenium will face a federal review. 

As well, a joint federal-provincial review panel found the environmental risks posed by the proposed Benga mine outweigh its economic benefits.