Tensions between Fortune Minerals and First Nations tribe spark again
Fortune Mineral’s has been banned from a northern British Columbia First Nation’s land as a bitter fight over a proposed coal mine escalates, again, The Globle and Mail reported
Tahltan Central Council president Annita McPhee said Fortune Minerals must not enter Tahltan Nation communities without permission from the Iskut and Tahltan bands.
Fortune Minerals is attempting to build an openpit coal mine on Mount Klappan, within traditional Tahltan territory. The dispute arose because First Nations leaders are angered by reports that company officials have directly approached reserve residents to promote the mine.
McPhee says the Tahltan oppose the development in an area known as the Sacred Headwaters, source of three major salmon-bearing rivers: the Skeena, Stikine and the Nass and considered by aboriginals to have extreme cultural value.
Last September, about 40 Tahltan, including elders, moved into Fortune’s campsite at Mount Klappan and asked the workers to leave, but Mines Minister Bill Bennett helped diffuse the tension.
He travelled to the remote site to assure protesters he would urge Fortune Minerals not to seek an injunction, while Fortune president Robin Goad said the company pulled out to give time and space for discussions, but added Fortune is still fully committed to the coal mine.