Tahltan Nation v. Fortune Minerals, BC, Canada


The Tahltan First Nation in northern British Columbia is determined to halt a massive coal mine proposed in an area known as the Sacred Headwaters. They claim the project threatens the headwaters of three important salmon rivers: the Skeena, Nass and Stikine. It is also adjacent to the Spatsizi wilderness area, where they hunt.

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Basic Data
NameTahltan Nation v. Fortune Minerals, BC, Canada
ProvinceBritish Colombia
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Mineral ore exploration
Coal extraction and processing
Specific CommoditiesAnthracite Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe project consists of 16,411 hectares of coal exploration licenses in northwest British Columbia. The measured and indicated resources are of 231 million tonnes and Inferred Resources of 359 million tonnes.

Project Area (in hectares)16,410
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2005
Company Names or State EnterprisesFortune Minerals from Canada - 80%
POSCanada from Canada - subsidiary of POSCO 20%
Pohang Iron and Steel Company (POSCO) from Republic of Korea
Relevant government actorsRoyal Canadian Mounted Police, Government of British Colombia
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersKlabona Keepers, Tahltan Council, Mines and Communities
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Land occupation
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
The protesters have occupied 2 drilling rigs belonging to the company
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Criminalization of activists
Land demarcation
Moratoria on the project for the moment
Development of AlternativesThe community asks for a long-term plan to protect the area surrounding Mount Klappan in Northwest BC as well as recognition over the territory which has never been ceded to the government of Canada.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The case is ongoing. The Tahltan seem set on defending this area as it is the spawning ground for salmon for many rivers in BC.
Sources and Materials

In British Colombia, there were never any treaties signed between First Nations and the Canadian Government, thus they consider their territory as unceded lands. The DELGAMUUKW v. BRITISH COLUMBIA case seemed to uphold their right to title over their lands, but has not been clearly implemented.


Tahltan members block Fortune mine access road as leaders prepare to meet with Government -
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Klabona Keepers on Facebook
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Wednesday, Aug. 21 2013
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Fortune Minerals, Arctos Anthracite project
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Tahltan First Nation, Fortune Minerals face off over coal mine project

MARK HUME, The Globe and Mail

Media Links

year old Tahltan boy stands up to CEO of open pit coal mine.
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Tahltan Stand Tall Against Fortune Minerals Coal Plans
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Meta Information
ContributorLeah Temper
Last update24/06/2014