Chuitna River Coal Mining Project Scrapped

In our April issue, our correspondent Michael Lunde wrote a piece on what was a controversial coal mining project on Southcentral Alaska’s salmon spawning Chuitna River.

Well, timing is everything, and the Alaska Dispatch-News has a report coming out that the project has been shelved for now.

Here’s more from ADN:

The company behind a large and contentious coal mine proposed for the west side of Cook Inlet is suspending all permitting efforts, suddenly putting the Chuitna Coal Project in limbo.

Dan Graham, project manager for PacRim Coal, told officials at the Alaska Department of Natural Resources about the company’s decision late last week. DNR posted an update on its website Friday.

Graham told state coal regulatory program manager Russell Kirkham that the owners “decided to shelve the project” after an investment fell through, Kirkham said Monday.

The company also issued a statement last week: “Following several months of internal review and discussions, the partners in PacRim Coal, LP have decided to suspend pursuit of permitting efforts on the Chuitna Coal Project.”

Graham couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.

The project as planned would sit about 45 miles west of Anchorage near the small community of Beluga and the Native Village of Tyonek.