Canada Invests in Green Coal Mine Reclamation Project in Alberta

News release

August 30, 2019              Ottawa, Ontario             Natural Resources Canada                   

Canada’s mining and minerals industry is important to our economy and to communities across the country. Developing Canada’s natural resources in cleaner, more sustainable ways will create good, middle-class jobs, increase competitiveness and reduce pollution as we move toward a clean energy future.

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced $3.8 million in funding to the BIOSALIX program, a renewable energy coal mine reclamation project near Forestburg, Alberta.

A collaborative effort led by environmental consulting firm Sylvis, the project uses municipal organic waste as an additive to generate the conditions to grow a willow crop on the reclaimed land. The willow is then harvested to create a woody biomass that can be used to produce renewable heat, energy and other products. Overall, this project will help municipalities manage their organic waste, grow a renewable feedstock to produce bioenergy, reclaim expired mine land and create new opportunities for communities affected by coal mine closures.

Federal funding for the project will be provided through Natural Resource Canada’s Clean Growth Program. Further funding in the amounts of $1.5 and $2 million will be provided respectively by Alberta Innovates and Emission Reductions Alberta. Natural Resource Canada’s Canadian Forest Service will also lend its biomass research and expertise to the project.

The Clean Growth Program is a $155-million investment fund that helps emerging clean technologies further reduce their impacts on air, land and water while enhancing competitiveness and creating jobs.

Canada’s climate plan includes measures to protect the environment and leave a healthier planet for future generations, including actions to protect our oceans, phase out coal-fired electricity, invest in renewables and public transit and reduce plastic pollution. Green infrastructure and renewable energy technologies are a key part of Canada’s plan to combat climate change while growing the economy. 


“The Government of Canada continues to invest in projects that are positioning Canada’s mining industry to lead the clean energy future. Restoring mined land to a natural state contributes to our goal of growing the economy, creating jobs and building the sustainable and competitive mining industry of tomorrow.”

- The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources 

“The transition to a clean growth economy is one of the greatest challenges that faces Canadians today and one of the most critical for our common future. The BIOSALIX program embodies clean growth — the combination of technology and process to drive technical, carbon and social benefit — while meeting the challenges that today’s society faces. It provides communities of all sizes the opportunity to transition and grow beyond natural resources into a clean technology economy.”

- John Lavery, Principal Scientist
Sylvis Environmental Services

Quick facts

  • For this project, EPCOR Water Services will supply the municipal biosolids; Westmoreland Mining will provide the reclamation ground, as well as part of the workforce; and Bionera Resources will develop the willow plantation.

  • The Clean Growth Program includes federal laboratory support for innovators. This project falls within the Science and Technology Assistance for Cleantech (STAC) component of the program, intended to help bring Canadian clean technologies to market by providing federal research expertise, facilities and equipment.

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations

Vanessa Adams
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

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