Tahltan Nation prohibits Fortune Minerals entering its territory

2 April 2014 (Last Updated April 2nd, 2014 18:30)

Iskut and Tahltan Nation communities have banned Canada-based mining company Fortune Minerals from entering their reserved lands in northern British Columbia, without permission.

Iskut and Tahltan Nation communities have banned Canada-based mining company Fortune Minerals from entering their reserved lands in northern British Columbia, without permission.

Both communities have passed band council resolution agreements urging that the mining company should obtain consent from their leaders before entering their reserve lands.

The traditional Tahltan territory includes the area of Mount Klappan, where Fortune had previously unveiled plans to build an open pit coal mine.

The ban follows reports of Fortune staff trying to promote the Arctos Anthracite project on Mount Klappan, for which the company also distributed videos mentioning the project to be beneficial for both sides.

"The company's efforts to lobby our people have only hardened their resolve and opposition."

Tahltan Central Council president Annita McPhee said that this is a warning for the mining company.

"Tahltan people have asked their leadership to oppose Fortune's Arctos Anthracite project coal mine proposal," McPhee said.

Fortune Minerals' project would be situated in a critically important area known as the Sacred Headwaters on Mount Klappan, that requires long-term management and protection to preserve its cultural and ecological values.

Tahltan people have cautioned that any further mining expansion in the territory would require the protection of Sacred Headwaters.

If the area is not well protected it could have consequences for other projects and opportunities across Tahltan territory.

Iskut Band chief Marie Quock said that for years the local people have been clear that proper management and protection of the Klappan area is needed.

"The company's efforts to lobby our people have only hardened their resolve and opposition," Quock said.

"We expect Fortune Minerals to respect this decision of Iskut Band Council and not come on our reserve lands without prior approval from council."

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