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A sign opposing coal development in the eastern slopes of the Livingston range southwest of Longview, Alta., on June 16, 2021.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

At least two members of the group that recommended a pause on coal mining in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains are concerned the province’s regulator appears to have accepted applications to renew a project that has already been denied.

Last week, the Australia-based company Northback Holdings resurrected a proposal for the Grassy Mountain steelmaking coal mine in southern Alberta, applying for three licences from the Alberta Energy Regulator.

That's despite the project being denied by both Alberta and Ottawa, as well as a provincial order that forbids any coal activity on those lands.

Ron Wallace and Bill Trafford, both members of the committee that recommended the pause to the government, are concerned those applications violate both the spirit and letter of the order that enacted that moratorium.

Mr. Trafford says he can’t see how the regulator can accept the applications and move forward on them without violating government policy.

Mr. Wallace, who headed the commission in to coal mining, calls the applications very concerning.

Spokespeople from Northback, the regulator or the provincial government weren’t immediately available.

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