Northback Holdings Corp., a subsidiary of Hancock Prospecting, is planning to conduct a coal exploration program and has submitted an application to Alberta’s energy regulator for a deep-drilling permit on the Grassy Mountain coal deposit near Blairmore, Alberta.  The company, which was formerly known as Benga Mining Ltd., is reportedly planning to drill 46 holes during the 2023 and 2024 exploration seasons.

In June 2021, a joint federal-provincial review panel denied Benga’s permits needed to resume mining for metallurgical coal at Grassy Mountain. The company, along with two First Nations groups, requested an appeal of the decision and the request was denied