Will Coal Mining Once Again Impact the Crowsnest Pass Economy?


January 7, 2016 :: Cal Clark
Moderated by Knud Petersen

Benga Mining Ltd has applied to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and Canada Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) for approval to develop a 4 million tonne per year metallurgical coal mine at Grassy Mountain, 8 km north of Blairmore, Alberta. The site of the proposed Grassy Mountain Coal Project is a historical open pit mine that operated from the late 1940’s to the early 1960’s. It will be the first coal mine in the Crowsnest Pass in 50 years and arguable bring much needed economic and social stimulus to the area over an anticipated 20 some years. The project, if approved, will produce high quality coking coal for the overseas steel manufacturing market.

The Grassy Mountain Coal Project, like any resource development project, raises social, economic and environmental concerns. Many of these issues are addressed in the project application and supporting Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) document. The proposed project application and supporting EIA is currently undergoing both provincial and federal regulatory review which is expected to culminate in a joint (Federal-Provincial) Regulatory Review Panel Hearing within the next 18 months to decide if the project can proceed.

The speaker will provide a brief description of the proposed Grassy Mountain Coal Project, including a bit of history of the site and its legacy. He will also briefly discuss the regulatory process underway and some of the key issues and concerns facing the project including how to manage the social license for resource development i.e. finding the balance between conflicting social, economic and environmental values before proceeding with resource development.

Speaker: Cal Clark

Cal Clark is responsible for environmental management, regulatory affairs, community engagement and First Nations collaboration as manager of sustainable development for Benga Mining Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Riversdale Resources. Previously, Cal was with Cenovus Energy working on developing environmental management strategies to address key issues and enhance environmental performance related to their oil and gas operations.

Cal holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology (University of Guelph), and a Master of Education degree (University of Calgary) and has a career spanning more than 25 years in forestry, mining and energy sectors. Cal is married with three children and have recently relocated from Calgary to the Crowsnest Pass.
Moderator:   Knud Petersen
Date: Thursday, January 7, 2016
Time: Noon - 1:30 PM (30 minutes each for presentation, lunch and Q & A)
Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S
Cost: $11.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (includes coffee/tea)


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