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The Arctos Anthracite project, formerly known as the Mount Klappan Anthracite Metallurgical Project, is a proposal for an open pit coal mine located about 90 km southeast of Iskut, B.C., at the headwaters of the Stikine River. The project is owned by the Arctos Anthracite Joint Venture, a joint venture between Fortune (80%) and Posco Canada Ltd. (20%), a subsidiary of one of the world's largest steel producers. The project would produce 3 million tonnes of coal a year for about 25 years, leveling Klappan Mountain, and creating an open pit of 730 hectares, surrounded by three giant piles of waste rock. A 147 km railway would need to be constucted to connect the mine site to an existing rail line on which coal would be delivered to Prince Rupert for shipping overseas. Two trains, comprised of 127 cars with a capacity of 95 tonnes each, would leave the site every three days.
The Arctos Anthracite project proposes to level Klappan Mountain in order to support the steel industry in South Korea. Over 25 years, the coal mine would create a 730 hectares open pit near the headwaters of the Stikine River, in an area of great ecological and cultural importance known as the “Sacred Headwaters.” At the southern edge of the Spatzizi Wilderness Park, the Klappan valley basin is important habitat for grizzly bear, caribou, wolf, moose, mountain goats and other species, and the area is an important hunting region for the Tahltan Nation. The coalmine would put a tailings pond right at the site of a Tahltan hunting camp and render much of the area unfit for hunting and fishing. The project would also require the construction of a 147 km railway extension into the Sacred Headwaters, which would further open the region to poachers and more industrial development. The Tahltan First Nation, and many other local communities in northwest B.C., actively oppose the project.
A strip-mining open pit coal mine at this location would destroy wildlife habitat, degrade air quality, and create serious threats to water quality. Waste products from coal mines include heavy metal contaminants such as selenium, which can cause spinal deformities in young fish downstream from open pit coal mines. These coal mines also create an extreme risk of acid mine drainage, which is a threat to water quality locally and downstream often in perpetuity. Crushing the coal releases massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Over 25 years, the proposed coal mine at Klappan Mountain could pump19,800,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, accelerating climate change.