Canadian Mining Journal


COAL: Prairie Mines to pay $4.5M for spill at Obed mine

ALBERTA – Prairie Mines & Royalty has pled guilty in Alberta Provincial Court to two counts of violating the Fisheries Act. The company will pay $3.5 million in penalties.

On Oct. 31, 2013, an earthen berm at the Obed coal mine near Hinton failed and 670 million litres of water, coal, clay and sand spilled into the Apetowun and Plante creeks, both of which flow into the Athabasca River.

The Obed coal mine near Hinton, Alta. Credit: Obed Mountain mine.

The Alberta Provincial Court ordered Prairie Mines to pay $1.15 million into a trust to be managed by the University of Alberta to create fish habitat and native recovery fund. The Environmental Damages Fund will receive $2.15 million.

The Alberta Energy Regulator also levied $1.5 million in fines, charging that Prairie Mines violated the conditions of its coal mine licence by not notifying the AER as soon as practicable of the October incident and of making changes to its operating program without obtaining prior approval.

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