Teck Resources Ltd. is pulling its application for the massive Frontier oil sands mine in Alberta, citing the need for Canada to finalize its climate-change policies and determine how resource development fits within them.
After years of companies shelving investment in the oil and gas sector, high hopes were pinned on the massive heavy-oil mine for its potential direct economic impact as well as the broader signal it would send to the market.
But the mine also landed at the centre of a heated debate both in Canada and internationally about the balance this country is striking between resource development and addressing climate change.
The project had already passed a lengthy regulatory review and the federal cabinet was expected to decide whether to approve, reject or delay a decision on the mine on Tuesday.
The move sparked disappointment and condemnation from the Alberta government and the Conservative opposition in Ottawa. An oil sector analyst said the decision would send a negative signal to investors and had echoes of Kinder Morgan’s decision to walk away from its construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline.