The Tahltan Central Council says it has grave concerns about a coal mine proposed for the Klappan region in northern B.C.
The First Nation is concerned that the Arctos Anthracite Coal Mine project, owned by Fortune Coal Ltd. and POSCO Klappan Coal Ltd., will be reviewed only by the provincial Environmental Assessment Office and will not have to undergo a federal environmental review process.
"We were very disheartened by the B.C. government's attempt to fast-track the environmental review of this ecologically and culturally destructive Arctos coal mine project," said Annita McPhee, president of the Tahltan Central Council.
The Tahltan Central Council says the open-pit coal mine project will damage what is known as the Sacred Headwaters of the Stikine, Nass and Spatsizi rivers.
In December 2012, the Tahltan Central Council signed an agreement with Shell Canada Ltd. and the B.C. government to protect the Klappan.
In March 2013, the provincial government signed an agreement with Ottawa under which certain projects would require only a provincial environmental assessment instead of both a federal and provincial process.