TORONTO (Reuters) – Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd has withdrawn an application to build its C$20.6 billion ($15.7 billion) Frontier oil sands mine in Alberta, days before the federal government was to decide on whether to approve a project opposed by environmentalists and indigenous groups.
Teck said on Sunday it would write down the C$1.13 billion ($852.12 million) carrying value of the project. The news was first reported by the Globe and Mail newspaper.
The company released a letter by Teck Chief Executive Don Lindsay to Canada’s environment minister, stating Teck was “disappointed to have arrived at this point”.
The fate of the mine, which was first proposed in 2011, was expected to be decided next week in what had become a test of Canada’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and repair relations with the country’s indigenous people.
At full capacity, the mine would have produced 260,000 barrels of crude oil per day, making it one of the largest in Alberta’s carbon-intensive oil sands.
“The growing debate around this issue has placed Frontier and our company squarely at the nexus of much broader issues that need to be resolved,” Lindsay wrote in his letter. “In that context, it is now evident that there is no constructive path forward for the project.”
On Friday, the Canadian miner floated a potential exit from the oil sands and warned of the possible C$1.13 billion hit should Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government reject the Frontier bitumen mine.