Cline Mining sues British Columbia over coal mining ban

Cline Mining (TSX: CMK), which lately has focused on re-developing a long-shut coal mine in Colorado, said May 29 that has filed a notice of civil claim in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against the province of British Columbia over a provincial action that rendered its Lodgepole, Sage Creek and Cabin Creek coal properties unminable.

The properties are located in the Flathead Valley in southeastern British Columbia. The province’s passage of the Flathead Watershed Area Conservation Act, at the urging of U.S. environmental groups and politicians like Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., halted all mine development work in this area. The Flathead Valley watershed crosses into Montana, and the U.S. opponents feared development of Cline’s initial Lodgepole strip mining project.

Cline, after failing to reach a settlement with the province, is seeking a declaration that its rights under its coal licenses and coal license applications for the Lodgepole, Sage Creek and Cabin Creek properties were expropriated, taken or injuriously affected by the province’s passing of the act and of the Flathead Watershed Area Order in Council and Regulation 41/2010 which created a Mineral and Coal Land Reserve on all lands within the Flathead River Watershed Area.

Cline is also seeking compensation including, but not limited to, the loss of the value of the licenses and applications for licenses for these properties, estimated at in excess of C$500m on a net present value basis over the expected lives of the mines. Cline said it has retained counsel at Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP in Vancouver to advance the legal proceedings on its behalf.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.