Coal mine licences held by two companies in the Klappan region have been bought by the B.C. government in what it hopes is a temporary measure for planning purposes.

B.C. buys out coal licences in Tahltan territory

Fortune Minerals and POSCO Canada are being paid $18.3 million for anthracite coal rights, with a 10-year option to buy them back

The B.C. government is paying $18.3 million to buy out 61 coal mining licences in the Klappan region of northwestern B.C., to work with the Tahltan Nation on a management plan.

The government is calling the move a “permit deferral,” including a 10-year option for Fortune Minerals and Korea-based POSCO Canada to buy back the permits at the same price once an agreement on mining development is reached with the Tahltan.

Known internationally as the Sacred Headwaters, where the Nass, Skeena and Stikine Rivers arise, the region has been a focus of mining protest before. In 2012 the province bought back coalbed gas leases awarded to Shell Canada in 2004.

The anthracite coal mining licences have been purchased by BC Rail, which decades ago attempted to extend track to Dease Lake for mining development. The railway still has legislative authority to acquire coal mines and associated lands, and cash reserves to buy the Klappan licences.

Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett said the Tahltan, industry and the province all have an interest in agreeing on a development plan for the area, about midway between Stewart and Dease Lake.

Bennett said the companies remain interested in developing a large metallurgical coal mine on the property, and without the purchase announced Monday, the province could have ended up in court.

Northwest B.C. has multiple metal and coal mines on the drawing board, and the recent completion of a power line along Highway 37 has sparked development interest.

B.C. signed a shared decision-making agreement with the Tahltan Central Council in 2013, when the Tahltan administration was dealing with about 250 exploration applications a year over a territory about half the size of Washington state.

 

Just Posted

Racism and hate still have no place in Fort St. James

Council highlights the communities ongoing efforts to combat hate

Fort St. James tourist attraction still going strong

“World Class Chicken Racing” remains popular

Boost to campsite locations for 2018 season

Whether you call British Columbia your home or you are entertaining out-of-province… Continue reading

Agricultural economist to study wages for farm workers

According to an information bulletin released by the Ministry of Labour, the… Continue reading

New scholarships available for grad students in B.C.

Students across British Columbia who are currently enrolled in graduate-level degree programs… Continue reading

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Most Read