A unit of Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting, Benga Mining, has utilized to the Federal Court docket of Canada for a judicial evaluation of the rejection of the proposed US$800 million Grassy Mountain steelmaking coal mine that it plans to construct in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.
Benga has utilized for an order that quashes or units apart Atmosphere and Local weather Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s determination of August 6, that the undertaking was “prone to trigger important hostile environmental results” and which referred the undertaking to the Cupboard.
Benga can also be looking for to quash the Cupboard’s determination that the “important hostile environmental results” that the undertaking “is prone to trigger are usually not justified within the circumstances”.
The Minister’s willpower was primarily based on a choice by the Joint Assessment Panel on June 17, to disclaim the Grassy Mountain undertaking. The willpower, Benga mentioned, was made regardless of purposes being filed with the Court docket of Attraction of Alberta on July 16 and 19, by the corporate and the Piikani and the Stoney Nakoda First Nations.
Benga mentioned that its authorized counsel had written to Wilkinson on June 26, formally requesting that he took no motion presently, in an effort to enable Benga to pursue its authorized avenues on attraction.
Benga additionally wrote to the Impression Evaluation Company of Canada on July 6, advising that failure by the Minister to carry the federal course of in abeyance pending decision of Benga’s authorized challenges within the Court docket of Attraction of Alberta would prejudice Benga and doubtlessly these Indigenous teams that may profit from the undertaking.
“We’re dismayed that Canada’s Minister of Atmosphere might render a choice so unexpectedly, and primarily based on a report that’s going through a number of authorized challenges,” mentioned Benga CEO John Wallington in a press release.
“Not solely had been the Minister’s and Cupboard’s selections untimely and ill-informed, they had been additionally made with out enough session with the related First Nations, one thing that’s unconscionable throughout the rigours of a contemporary regulatory approval course of.”
Benga’s mother or father firm has reportedly spent about US$700 million in buying the undertaking and in pursuing the required regulatory approvals.
“On the time of buying the undertaking, we had been warmly welcomed and made to really feel that Canada was very a lot open for enterprise and intent upon attracting worldwide funding and capital for the event of large-scale initiatives that may stimulate the financial system and supply employment alternatives and jobs,” says Benga.
“We had been aware of Canada’s worldwide repute as a vacation spot of alternative for mining initiatives that could possibly be developed with out political interference inside an open, clear and truthful regulatory regime. Nevertheless, the Minister’s and Cupboard’s selections that we are actually looking for to evaluation elevate severe questions on sovereign danger and simply how open, clear and truthful the regulatory regime truly is,” mentioned Wallington.
The US$800 million undertaking is a proposed steelmaking coal mine in Crowsnest Move, Alberta, anticipated to contribute US$1.7 billion in provincial and federal revenue taxes and royalties. Benga says the undertaking has a Class 4 land use classification (being land on which floor or underground mining could also be thought-about) and that just about 25% of the undertaking was on beforehand mined land.