Australian coal company Atrum Coal announced Friday it would pause operations at its Elan project, located just north of Grassy Mountain, citing upcoming consultations on coal policy scheduled by the Alberta government.
Atrum’s Elan Hard Coking Coal project is located on what was designated “Category 2” lands under Alberta’s 1976 coal policy, under which open-pit mining typically is prohibited.
Last year, the Alberta government cancelled its 1976 Coal Development Policy for Alberta with no public consultation.
In the wake of mounting opposition from municipalities, First Nations and other Albertans, the government reinstated that policy pending a public consultation process.
Atrum is still allowed to conduct activities on the Elan project under its previously approved coal exploration permit from last year, but has halted all “significant” activities on the site, including any planned drilling in 2021.
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