The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) said Aug. 15 that it may hold a public hearing, at a to-be-determined date, on applications for the Vista coal mine project.
If the AER does not receive any submissions from persons wishing to intervene or all intervenors withdraw from the proceeding, the hearing may be cancelled and the AER said it will continue to process and may approve the applications without a hearing.
Coalspur Mines (Operations) Ltd. has applied for approval to construct, operate, and reclaim a surface coal mine known as the Vista Coal Project. It would produce 5 million tonnes of coal per year and would lie about 10 kilometers east of Hinton, extending away from Hinton to the southeast for about 12 kilometers up to the McLeod River valley. Coalspur’s applications would amend the existing approvals for a coal mine and plant in the area that are not constructed yet.
- One application is to construct, operate, and reclaim a coal mine and associated infrastructure. The amendment would expand the project area from 5,003 hectares (ha) to 6092 ha to allow for a larger fines settling pond, an access road, and a conveyor from the coal processing plant to a load-out facility across Highway 16.
- Another application is for new coal mine licenses to construct, operate, and reclaim one surface pit and three external waste dumps.
- Another application is to construct and operate a coal processing plant and associated infrastructure. The amendment would relocate the plant; add a fresh water pond, a fines settling pond, and new processing facilities; and increase production capacity of the plant to 5 million tonnes of clean coal annually.
Parties have until Sept. 10 to file submissions on these applications.