The $18 million paid by a provincial crown corporation to buy out a joint venture’s coal licences in the Klappan area in northwestern B.C. was reasonable, says an official from one of the companies in the joint venture.
The purchase of the 61 licences from the Arctos Anthracite Joint Venture owned by Fortune Minerals of Ontario and POSCO Canada, a Korean subsidiary, by BC Rail ends for now what has been more than a decade of controversy over development in the region.
Also known as the Sacred Headwaters, the Klappan is within Tahltan traditional territory and the Tahltan have objected to attempts at industrial development in the area used for an array of cultural practices.
When Mines Minister Bill Bennett met with reporters at the legislature late Monday afternoon, he announced an innovative solution to a dispute over some coal mining licences that also heralded the future for resource development in B.C.
The specifics involved some 61 privately held mineral licences, together forming the basis for an anthracite coal mine in the Klappan region in the northwest of the province.
Together they also formed the basis for a decade-long standoff between the two private company holders of the licences and the Tahltan First Nation, in whose traditional territory the mining property was located.
The Tahltan opposed the project, a determination manifested with blockades going back 10 years. Thus stalled, the rights-holders — Fortune Minerals and POSCO Canada — had no practical option to develop their property, acquired in good faith in 2002.
Bad feelings over those properties threatened to spill over into other developments in the region, one of the richest in terms of mineral potential in the province.
The Government of British Columbia has issued a temporary order under Section 7 of the Environment and Land Use Act to extend the deferral of decisions on permits and permit amendments on existing coal tenures in an area of the Klappan until March 31, 2015, as well as on new coal tenures in the Klappan until Dec. 1, 2015.
The B.C. government has placed a temporary hold on coal exploration permits in the Klappan, a northern area where the local First Nation has protested, blockaded and is going to court to protect.
The order relates to existing coal tenures in the Mount Klappan area, lands the Tahltan First Nation calls the Sacred Headwaters, where the Skeena, Stikine and Nass rivers meet.
The First Nation and the provincial government have been working on a shared vision for development of land and resources in the area for a year, and last December the government deferred any decisions on new coal licences.
(To read complete source article, click "The Globe and Mail")
Within hours of a June 26 Supreme Court of Canada decision confirming aboriginal title of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation, the Tahltan First Nation announced it too planned to launch an aboriginal rights and title claim.
And in both cases, the main drivers behind the push for recognition of their rights to land in their territories are mines that neither First Nation want.
By: Annita McPhee, President, Tahltan Central Council
In a pristine corner of northwestern B.C. called the Klappan, a drama is unfolding that might seriously compromise the relationship between First Nations and the booming natural resource sector in B.C.
The 4,000 square-kilometre region southeast of Iskut is called the Sacred Headwaters by Tahltan people because it is the source of three wild salmon rivers -- the Skeena, Nass and Stikine -- and because it has been full of life for thousands of years. Tahltan people consider the Klappan to be Earth's birthplace and it's a well-travelled, traditional hunting ground that carries significant cultural, spiritual and social values for the Tahltan Nation.
(To read the complete source article, click "Huffington Post")
A mining company has been banned from entering Tahltan Nation communities in northern B.C. without first asking for permission from leaders.
The company, Fortune Minerals, said it agrees with the proposition and will be asking permission to enter reserve lands in the future, though the area where they are proposing their coal mine is located in Tahltan traditional territory and not on reserve land.
A remote area of northwest British Columbia considered sacred by aboriginals and resource rich by mining companies has received a reprieve from potential coal-mining activities with a government order that puts new coal tenures on hold for one year.
(To read complete article, click "The Vancouver Sun")
My name is Annita McPhee. I am a member of the Tahltan Nation, and President of the Tahltan Central Council, which is a governing body of the Tahltan People. I am pleased to make this presentation to Professor James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, on behalf of the Tahltan People.
(To read complete submission, click "Tahltan Central Council")
REACTING to what it calls “disruptive and damaging protests,” Fortune Minerals Ltd., the company that wants to build a coal mine in the Klappan Valley against the wishes of local Tahltan First Nation, says it is leaving the area.
An increasingly tense standoff between a B.C. First Nation and a London, Ont.-based coal company in a remote mountain valley known as Sacred Headwaters is set to erupt as protesters flaunt their month-long presence on a drilling site and taunt the RCMP to arrest them.
(To read complete source article, click "The Globe and Mail")
FEW PLACES ON our planet have been unaffected by humans. Satellite images taken from hundreds of kilometres above Earth reveal a world irrevocably changed by our land use over just the past few decades.
From Arctic tundra to primeval rainforest to arid desert, our natural world is being fragmented by ever-expanding towns and cities, roads, transmission lines, and pipelines, and pockmarked by mines, pump jacks, flare stacks and other infrastructure used to drill, frack and strip-mine fossil fuels.
(To read complete source article, click "The Georgia Straight")
The Tahltan and the provincial government have signed another in a series of agreements ultimately intended to set out what kind of development, if any, should take place in the Klappan Valley, popularly known as the Sacred Headwaters.
Written by Lee White, Senior Advisor with Good Medicine Group Consulting
....The Tahltan Central Council, which represents several bands with roughly 5,000 members, has unanimously passed a resolution to protect the Sacred Headwaters from any development – forever. The same area was subject to coal-bed methane exploration and drilling by Shell Oil which ended favourably for the Tahltan and their Sacred Headwaters.
"The Tahltan have been very progressive in engaging with mining companies within their traditional territory, and have been very clear on how this relationship needs to take place. Consultation must begin before exploration," said Marc Storms, Founder of GMG Consulting, who began working in Tahltan territory in 1993. "There are mines in the Tahltan territory, but some things are off the table. The Sacred Headwaters and Mt. Klappan have always been off the table. This area is held as sacred to the Tahltan people. Imagine trying to mine Mt. Sinai?"
(To read the complete source article, click "Troy Media")
Holding homemade signs carrying simple messages, a small group of First Nations and environmental advocates gathered Wednesday in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery in solidarity of the Tahltan Nation’s escalating conflict with Fortune Minerals Ltd.
Tension between the groups remains high despite a weekend meeting with representatives from both camps where it was concluded that Fortune would alter but ultimately continue exploratory work for its proposed Arctos Anthracite coal project in the Klappan area, also known as the Sacred Headwaters.
(To read the complete source article, click "The Province")
An emergency Saturday evening meeting between Fortune Minerals CEO Robin Goad and the Tahltan Nation elders who recently issued his company an eviction notice from their territory failed to resolve tensions over a proposed mine, according to local environmental group, Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition.
The meeting, also attended Anita McPhee, president of the Tahltan Central Council - the political body which represents several bands and 5,000 members throughout the region - and Marie Quock, chief of the nearby Iskut Band Council, took place at Beauty Camp, a historic hunting and fishing outpost amid the Klappan, or "Sacred Headwaters", approximately 330 km northeast of Prince Rupert.
(To read the complete source article, click "The Common Sense Canadian")