Telkwa Coal Mine, British Columbia, Canada

More extractivism proposed on Wet'suwet'en territory. Bulkley Valley residents oppose Telkwa Coal Mine over concerns of air and water pollution and climate impacts.


Telkwa Mine is a metallurgical coal mine being proposed by Allegiance Coal Ltd, 10 kilometres southwest of the town of Telkwa, near Smithers, BC. Metallurgical coal is used in the production of steel. The coal is to be exported to South Korea and Japan. The residents of the Bulkley-Nechako Valley are resisting the project due to concerns about impacts to rivers, water, fish, wildlife, air and their quality of life. It is located near the confluence of the Telkwa and Bulkley Rivers with their important runs of salmon and steelhead. It also lies "wholly or mostly within the recently established Telkwa Mountains Caribou Wildlife Habitat Area" (Cody, 2018).

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Basic Data
NameTelkwa Coal Mine, British Columbia, Canada
ProvinceBritish Columbia
SiteTelkwa, British Columbia
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Coal extraction and processing
Specific CommoditiesCoal
Project Details and Actors
Project Details

Telkwa Mine is a metallurgical coal mine being proposed by Australian -owned Allegiance Coal Ltd, 10 kilometres southwest of town of Telkwa, near Smithers, BC. Metallurgical coal is used in the production of steel. Allegiance Coal Ltd’s pre-feasibility study found there is 42.5 million tonnes of saleable coal in the project area (Grace-Dacosta, 2018). The coal is to be exported to South Korea and Japan. The Telkwa Project comprises three open pit areas all within close proximity of each other: Tenas, Goathorn, and Telkwa North (Allegiance, 2018). “The prefeasibility study suggests an annual production of 240,000 tonnes with a 40 year mine life and a 1,000 ha footprint” (Bakker, M., 2018).

The project is currently undergoing an environmental assessment.
Project Area (in hectares)1,000 ha
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population37,896 (population of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) regional district)
Start Date2016
Company Names or State EnterprisesAllegiance Coal Ltd from Australia - Allegiance Coal Ltd owns Telkwa Coal Ltd who are the proponents of this mine.
Itochu from Japan - Itochu has agreed to invest $6.6 million Canadian into the Telkwa Met Coal Joint Venture by way of a subscription for shares in Telkwa Coal Limited up to an initial 20 percent of the shares in Telkwa Coal
Telkwa Coal Limited from Australia - a wholly owned subsidiary of Allegiance
Relevant government actorsBC Provincial Government

Ministry of Energy and Mines

Ministry of Environment

BC Environmental Office

Office of Wet'suwet'en

Mayor of Telkwa
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersWhat Matters in Our Valley

Friends of the Morice-Bulkley
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Office of the Wet'suwet'en
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, 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, Mine tailing spills, Other Environmental impacts
Health ImpactsPotential: Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseStrengthening of participation
Under negotiation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.This conflict is in the early stages. Outcome still not known.
Sources and Materials

(What Matters in Our Valley, n.d.) Local Organization that is mobilizing to oppose the Telkwa Mine
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(Friends of Morice Bulkley, 2017) Chronology of Telkwa Coal Project from 1918 to present.
[click to view]

(Chartrand, T., 2018) Telkwa Coal Limited meets with Smithers Town Council. MyBulkleyLakesnow
[click to view]

(Bakker, M., 2018) Telkwa Coal holds open house. BC Local News
[click to view]

(Gareau, C., 2018 b) Telkwa Coal at EA threshold. The Interior News
[click to view]

(Grace-Dacosta, M., 2018) Telkwa’s long history with coal. The Interior News
[click to view]

(Gareau, C., 2018a) Telkwa Coal founder is moving to town. The Interior News
[click to view]

(Cody, 2018) Letter to Minister of the Environment from Nancy Cody and What Matters in our Valley
[click to view]

[1] How we came up with this estimate: The mass ratio of carbon dioxide to carbon (assuming full combustion) is 44/12 or 3.67. Metallurgical coals are around 90% carbon so a rough approximation is that 42.5 Mt coal becomes 140 Mt CO2. Keep in mind that the full calculation is more complicated and process dependent - coal is converted to coke in a secondary process, incomplete combustion means you get some carbon monoxide, and there are associated emissions of other GHGs particularly nitrogen oxides with higher warming potential than CO2. This is only a 'first order' estimate that ignores associated induced emissions in all steps of the project supply chain. This figure is based on direct combustion.

(Allegiance, 2018) 2018 Annual Report
[click to view]

Other Documents

Telkwa Area sourced from:
[click to view]

Telkwa MIne Site Map Sourced from:
[click to view]

Telkwa Coal Open House
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorJen Gobby and Charlotte Euverman (Wet'suwet'en)
Last update13/03/2019
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