Welcome to Net Zero, your daily industry brief on clean energy and Canadian-resource politics.
A joint federal-provincial environmental assessment has revealed that only one out of the 117 comments submitted on Atlantic Gold’s proposed Fifteen Mile Stream mine expressed positive sentiments for the project.
The lone supporter of the mine emphasized the importance of the project for the province’s economy.
“It is critical for there to be a balance between supporting economic growth and ensuring environmental sustainability,” Nick MacGregor of MacGregors Industrial Group said. “Without a healthy and active economy, particularly in our rural areas, there are simply far less financial resources available to support environmental improvement projects such as renewable energy, water treatment, wildlife sanctuaries, and more.”
The other individuals who sent in comments were particularly concerned about the mine’s impact on the environment and wildlife.
“Gold mines are well known to generate highly toxic waste, which inevitably pollutes watersheds, water sources, soil, flora, and fauna in the area, and are incredibly disruptive to the biosphere. At a time when we must safeguard our natural environment, allowing projects such as this is antithetical to that mandate,” one comment read.
Atlantic Gold, a gold mining company based in N.S., would run the 400-hectare open-pit mine in the Liscomb Game Sanctuary, which is located 30 kilometres north of Sheet Harbour, N.S.
Meanwhile, Natural Resources Canada questioned “the adequacy of the proposed mitigation measures related to arsenic and acid-generating rock.” CBC News has more.
France’s oil company, Total SE, has been rebranded as TotalEnergies, in order to reflect their renewable energy shift. Over 90 per cent of shareholders voted in favour of the motion at the company’s annual general meeting, BBC News reports.
“We want to become a sort of green energy major,” said CEO Patrick Pouyanné.
Total is the fourth-largest privately-owned oil and gas producer in the world, and has already committed to net-zero emissions by 2050.
Meanwhile, Quadad de Freitas, a 21-year-old Indigenous tourist guide, and Troy Thomas, a university lecturer, are seeking to halt offshore drilling by large oil firms, in Guyana. ExxonMobil is among those mentioned in their court filing.
They argue that “(the Guyanese government’s) approval of oil exploration licences violates the government’s legal duty to protect their right and the right of future generations to a healthy environment,” writes the Guardian.
“This is a classic public interest case,” said the lawyer Melinda Janki, who is representing the claimants in court. “In 2001-02 I lobbied the Guyanese government very hard to put the right to a healthy environment in the constitution. It’s in the interests of everyone to know what the law means, whether this oil production amounts to a violation of the right to a healthy environment. It’s then going to be up to the government to decide what actions to take.”
On Monday morning at 9:35 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$67.34 and Brent Crude was going for US$69.71.
Canada’s booming lumber market has enabled members of Alberta’s Bigstone Cree First Nation to reap some of the benefits, says Chief Silas Yellowknee. Bigstone Forestry Inc., the Nation’s logging company, gained “the right to harvest 21,000 cubic metres of coniferous wood per year” in early May.
“First Nations have been accused of always asking for handouts. We don’t play that kind of game. We try to do what’s best,” said Chief Yellowknee in an interview.
In the 2020-21 fiscal year, Alberta’s timber dues amounted to approximately $350 million, more than triple the $99 million earned in 2019-20, according to the Canadian Press.
“(The Forestry Department) crunched the numbers and said about a 33 per cent increase from the annual allowable cut is something we could sustainably harvest and make sure we do preventive measures such as forest fire protection and pest management,” said Alberta Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen, whose department is working on coming up with “ways to most efficiently use its bounty.”
Although the Alberta Wilderness Association and Chief Arthur Noskey, the grand chief of the Treaty 8 First Nations, say the province’s efforts are “potentially harmful to the forest,” Chief Yellowknee believes his part of the forest will be managed properly because of his ownership.
In other news, Canada needs a better electric vehicle (EV) strategy according to Sherritt International Corp.’s outgoing CEO David Pathe. Sherritt is a resource company headquartered in Toronto.
“Historically Canada has been a supplier of raw materials to the world — I think Canada can aspire to be more than that,” said Pathe. “There’s a role to be played between the government and bringing all the participants in the industry” from project developers and miners, to technology and research firms and processors to identify “bottlenecks” and help foster an EV battery industry. Bloomberg News has this story.
Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$51.71 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$51.60 this morning at 9:35 a.m.