Coal built Grande Cache, Alta. But plans for a new mine don’t sit well with some residents – by Erin Collins (CBC News Canada – July 16, 2023)

Summit 14 mine project promises new jobs and taxes. But some fear water contamination, climate impacts

The long black streaks in the hills along Highway 40 outside Grande Cache, Alta., are a clear sign of the rich coal seams that run through the eastern slopes of the Rockies there.

The community, about 430 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, was established in the 1960s to serve the mine that still pulls coal out of the ground outside town. The volatile coal industry has fuelled the local economy from the beginning.

In recent years as coal fired power plants were phased out across Alberta, the future of the town’s existing mine became more uncertain. The local power plant was converted from coal to primarily natural gas in 2019.

Only the continued demand for metallurgical coal to make steel overseas has kept the mine going. There is now a proposal to build a new mine in the area to produce more coal for steel making, a project that has some people in Grande Cache thinking twice. The Summit 14 mine, proposed by Maxim Power, would be built on Grande Mountain which looms large over Grande Cache.

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