The Australian miner that’s looking to build a massive new metallurgical coal mine on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains is vowing it will not give up its fight after Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson reaffirmed a joint-panel decision that effectively struck down the proposed project.
In a statement Monday, Benga Mining Ltd. said it is reviewing Wilkinson’s Aug. 6 decision regarding the Grassy Mountain project with its legal counsel, after the feds upheld a decision from the Joint Review Panel (JRP) and the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) that determined the project would likely result in “significant adverse environmental effects” on water quality, the local trout population and vegetation.
In the release, Benga Mining Chief Executive Officer John Wallington said Wilkinson had made his determination in spite of the miner’s request he hold off action while the company pursued a legal appeal of the JRP decision, which halted development in June.
“We are shocked that Canada’s minister of environment should take such a precipitous step before our legal appeal could be heard in court,” Wallington said.
“By ignoring Benga’s legitimate request that he hold his decision in abeyance whilst the legal appeal process runs its course, the minister has ridden roughshod over the legal rights of Benga, Piikani Nation and Stoney Nakoda Nations, adversely affected economic interests, and relied on a JRP report that is the subject of multiple legal challenges.”
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