Skip to main content

Financial troubles devastate Alberta coal mine, leave clean up questions

June 24, 2021


In mid-May, beleaguered coal company Coalspur Mines Ltd — the company behind the contentious Vista thermal coal mine in Alberta — received an ominous letter. The letter came from U.S. Bank, the company’s supplier of corporate credit cards. Its subject was clearly written across the top, in bold, underlined letters: “TERMINATION NOTICE.” The company’s credit cards were cancelled, effective immediately.

It was just the latest blow in a series of financial setbacks for the company that started almost the moment they began mining coal.

Setbacks for coal companies are snowballing across the country, as expanded regulatory scrutiny and political and public backlash against one of the world’s most carbon-intensive fossil fuels have increasingly become the norm.

Nevertheless, coal companies have continued to push for new approvals and expanded operations. Opaque corporate structures have meant international investors have historically been able to reap profits from Canadian coal resources, like in the case of Australia’s richest billionaire, often with little transparency.

[Sharon J Riley]

More: The inside story of an Alberta coal mine devastated by a financial crisis

Join our newsletter

Keep up to date with all the latest from IEEFA