Billionaire Rinehart’s Canada Coal Mine Faces Regulator Hurdle

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Billionaire Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting Pty. is reviewing options for a coal project in Canada after regulators said the planned mine isn’t in the public interest.

The Grassy Mountain project in southwest Alberta, intended to supply metallurgical coal for steelmaking, could have adverse environmental impacts on water quality, fish habitat and vegetation, according to a local review panel report published Thursday.

Environment and climate change minister Jonathan Wilkinson will consider the findings before a final decision is made on approvals, Canada’s government said in a statement. Wilkinson said earlier this month that Canada won’t approve new thermal coal projects to supply power stations.

Hancock’s Riversdale Resources Ltd. unit will be “consulting with legal counsel to review its options moving forward,” the company said in a statement on its website. Grassy Mountain, with expected capital expenditure of about C$800 million ($648 million), is intended to produce more than 4 million tons of metallurgical coal annually for about 23 years.

The project has been keenly watched as a potential catalyst for the revival of the Crowsnest Pass region, a key coal mining hub until 1983.

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