On May 24, 2006, Birch Mountain Resources Ltd. (BMRL) filed an application with the NRCB, Alberta Environment, and the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board for a proposed project in the Fort McMurray area. NRCB Application #0601 is for an approval for an expanded limestone quarry (to be integrated with the approved Muskeg Valley Quarry), a plant for the production of quicklime, a cement plant, and associated facilities for recalcining the spent lime and reclamation of gypsum.
The proposed project is to be located in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. The proposed site is immediately south of the Muskeg Valley Quarry, which is about 60 km north of Fort McMurray. The project description is set out in more detail in the Public Disclosure Document and the Application which identifies a footprint of approximately 1500 hectares for the Hammerstone project. All associated facilities are proposed to be constructed within the footprint of the approved Muskeg Valley Quarry.
The applications, which include an environmental impact assessment, are considered complete. The NRCB and ERCB issued a Notice of Application on June 2, 2008, inviting public input from parties who have concerns or objections to the Hammerstone project. Two parties filed submissions in response to the Notice of Application.
Early in 2009, the ownership of the applicant company's assets changed. The new owner (Hammerstone Corporation) was advised by the Board that additional information was required, should it wish to pursue the proposed Hammerstone quarry application filed by the previous owner (BMRL). The Panel then suspended its consideration of the proposed quarry application, pending receipt of further information from Hammerstone Corporation.
In October 2009, Hammerstone Corporation filed updated information and confirmed Hammerstone Corporation’s intention to proceed with the Hammerstone Project as described in the former Applications made by BMRL. The NRCB and ERCB issued a new Notice of Application on December 14, 2009 (see link below), inviting public input from parties who may have concerns or objections relating to the Hammerstone project. The Board received two statements of concern in response to this notice. The NRCB found that the persons filing the statements of concern failed to establish that they would be directly affected by the Hammerstone Project, and that the review of this project could be completed without the need for a public hearing. During its consideration of the application, the Board requested additional information which was provided by Hammerstone Corporation in April and May 2010. The Board issued its Decision Report NR 2010-01 on June 28, 2010.