Canada blocks Sukunka project

Photo: Glencore

Glencore’s plan to develop the Sukunka steelmaking coal project in Western Canada has hit a major hurdle: the government’s rejection.

“After careful deliberation, the Government of Canada has determined the significant adverse environmental effects of the proposed Sukunka coal mine project, an open-pit metallurgical coal mine located near Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, could not be mitigated,” the government said.

Similarly, British Columbia regulators said an environmental assessment certificate would not be issued after an environmental assessment concluded that key mitigation measures proposed by Glencore would unlikely reduce the potential negative effects of the project to an acceptable level.

A Glencore spokesman said the miner would review the decisions made by the federal and provincial governments before determining the next steps for the project.

Sukunka would have an estimated life of up to 20 years and would provide a capital investment of about C$450 million. It would have produced 3 million metric tons of hard coking coal a year for export.

Glencore has several assets in Canada, including the Kidd copper-zinc mine and Sudbury Integrates Nickel Operations in Ontario; a copper refinery in Quebec; and the Raglan nickel-copper operation in the Arctic region. 

Sources: MarketWatch and Reuters

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