Decision Statement
Issued under Section 54 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012

to Benga Mining Limited o/a Riversdale Resources
c/o Mr. Gary Houston, Vice President, External Affairs

PO Box 660 12955 -20 Avenue Blairmore, Alberta T0K 0E0

for the

Grassy Mountain Coal Project

Description of the Designated Project

Benga Mining Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Riversdale Resources Limited, is proposing to construct and operate an open-pit metallurgical coal mine near the Crowsnest Pass, approximately seven kilometres north of the community of Blairmore, in southwest Alberta. As proposed, the production capacity of the project would be a maximum of 4.5 million tonnes of processed coal per year, over a mine-life of about 25 years.

Conduct of the environmental assessment

The former Minister of the Environment referred the Grassy Mountain Coal Project to a review panel on July 16, 2015. On August 16, 2018, the former Minister of the Environment and the Chief Executive Officer of the Alberta Energy Regulator announced the Agreement to Establish a Joint Review Panel for the Grassy Mountain Coal Project. The Joint Review Panel conducted its review in a manner that met the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 and Alberta's Responsible Energy Development Act, Coal Conservation Act, Water Act, Public Lands Act, and Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. The Joint Review Panel submitted its report to me in my capacity as Minister of Environment and Climate Change on June 17,  2021.

Decisions on environmental effects referred to in subsections 5(1) and 5(2) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012

In accordance with paragraphs 52(1) (a) and 52(1) (b) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, after considering the report of the Joint Review Panel on the Designated Project and the implementation of mitigation measures that I consider appropriate, I have determined that the Designated Project:

  • is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects referred to in subsection 5(1) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012; and
  • is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects referred to in subsection 5(2) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012

In accordance with subsection 52(2) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, I referred to the Governor in Council the matter of whether those significant adverse environmental effects were justified in the circumstances.

In accordance with paragraph 52(4)(b) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, the Governor in Council decided that the significant adverse environmental effects that the Designated Project is likely to cause are not justified in the circumstances.

Issuance

This Decision Statement is issued in Ottawa, Ontario by:

<Original signed by>

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of the Environment

Date : August 6, 2021

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