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Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault takes part in a news conference in Ottawa, on Sept. 15.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

The federal government is blocking development of Glencore’s Sukunka open-pit metallurgical coal mine project located near Tumbler Ridge, B.C.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says the scientific evidence gathered in assessing the proposal showed that its negative impacts were significant and could not be mitigated.

The project assessment by British Columbia raised concerns about southern mountain caribou and its critical habitat, grizzly bear mortality and the discharge of mercury and selenium.

Glencore had proposed the construction and operation of an open-pit mine that would have produced three million tonnes of hard coking coal per year for export to overseas markets.

The mine life of the project was expected to be more than 20 years.

The government says the decision does not prevent Glencore, or others, from submitting new project proposals and does not preclude other potential developments.

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