Teck Resources Ltd has withdrawn the application for its C$20.6 billion ($15.7 billion) Frontier oil sands mine in Alberta, the company said on Sunday, days before the federal government was to decide on whether to approve the controversial project.
Teck said it would write down the C$1.13 billion 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 was expected to be decided as early as Tuesday in what has 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 a possible C$1.13 billion ($852.12 million) hit should Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government reject the Frontier bitumen mine.
The decision was a complicated one for Trudeau who made a 2019 election pledge to put Canada on the path to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
But unhappiness with the government’s energy and pipeline policy cost Trudeau’s Liberals all their seats in Alberta, where the project is considered essential for employment and growth.