Teck announces withdrawal of Frontier oil sands mine

February 24, 2020
By: admin

Teck announces withdrawal of Frontier oil sands mine project proposal

  — CPAWS Statement, February 24, 2020
An aerial image of the proposed mine site that will now remain intact (photo by Garth Lenz)
An aerial image of the proposed mine site that will now remain intact (photo by Garth Lenz)

EDMONTONCPAWS welcomes announcement of project withdrawal of environmentally devastating Frontier oil sands mine

CPAWS welcomes the announcement by Teck Resources Limited CEO, Don Lindsay, that the company has withdrawn their application for the Frontier oil sands mine.  In Teck’s letter to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Don Lindsay cites the need to address policy frameworks for tackling climate change and expresses urgent need to reduce global carbon emissions through carbon pricing and legislated caps for oil sands emissions.

The mine, if it had been approved and built would have been the largest open-pit oil sands mine in North America, and would have caused significant adverse environmental impacts. The announcement from Teck comes just days before the federal Cabinet deadline to reject, approve, or delay the decision for the proposed project.

CPAWS Northern Alberta has opposed the mine for several years. Since 2017, CPAWS Northern Alberta participated as official intervenors in the public consultation process. Our submissions to the Joint Review Panel and statements at the public hearings consistently addressed our biggest concerns with the mine:

    • With its close proximity to Wood Buffalo National Park, only 30-km south of the Park, the proposed mine posed major threats to the ecological integrity of the Park and the Peace-Athabasca Delta, one of the largest freshwater inland deltas;
    • The project would have removed thousands of hectares of wetland and old-growth boreal habitat, impacting many species at risk, including the endangered Whooping Crane and the threatened Ronald Lake Wood Bison herd;
    • By introducing roughly 5,000 hectares of tailings ponds, the project would have increased risks for the nearly 1 million migratory birds, including endangered whooping cranes, that flyover the proposed mine area;
    • The project’s greenhouse gas emissions would have strongly inhibited Canada’s ability to meet its international greenhouse gases reduction targets;

Thanks to our supporters, these concerns were heard loud and clear. The strong public opposition to the mine speaks to these unavoidable adverse impacts and demonstrated the strength of our voices as Canadians that care about our natural heritage. The project withdrawal signals Teck’s understanding that environmental and climate impacts should be at the forefront of any discussion of development in our boreal forests.

 

Additional Information

Wood Buffalo National Park is important due to its immense ecological value, and the Indigenous cultural and spiritual connections to the area, leading to its designation as a World Heritage Site in 1983. It is a part of the world’s largest protected intact boreal forest. The Park helps sustain herds of threatened wood bison, woodland caribou, and endangered whooping crane. Indigenous communities depend upon the lands and the water that flows through it to maintain their ways of life.

For more information please visit: www.cpawsnab.org/wood-buffalo-np   

Read the full statement from CEO of Teck Resources Limited here

For more information:

Gillian Chow-Fraser
Boreal Program Manager, CPAWS Northern Alberta
[email protected]

BACKGROUNDER

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to the protection of our public land and water and ensuring our parks are managed to protect the biodiversity within them. Over the last 50+ years, CPAWS has played a lead role in protecting over half a million square kilometres – an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory. Our vision is to protect at least half of our public land and water so that future generations can experience Canada’s irreplaceable wilderness.

CPAWS has chapters in almost every province and territory across Canada, and two chapters here in Alberta – a Southern Alberta chapter located in Calgary and a Northern Alberta chapter located in Edmonton. As a collaborative organization, CPAWS works closely with government of all levels, industry representatives, and communities to manage our impact on a shared landscape. We also advocate for the creation of parks and protected areas for the benefit of both current and future generations of Canadians.

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