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Developer suspends Chuitna coal mine project after investor opts out

Alaska-based developer Pacrim Coal LP suspended all permitting efforts related to the controversial $600 million Chuitna Coal Project after an investor fell through, the Alaska Dispatch News reported April 4.

"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," the report quoted the company as stating.

The project, which is expected to produce an average of 12 million tonnes of coal per year, would be the largest strip mine in Alaska and would sit about 45 miles west of Anchorage, according to the project's main website.

Mine opponents celebrated the news, including those living in the Native Village of Tyonek. The project has been receiving strong opposition for its potential impacts on lower Chuit River salmon as well as wildlife and marine mammals, said the report.

"It was a great feeling and I'm overjoyed by it," the report quoted village president, Art Standifer, as saying.