MAC: Mines and Communities

Fortune Minerals 'served eviction notice' by Tahltan Elders

Published by MAC on 2013-08-21
Source: Statements, Mining.com (2013-08-17)

See previous article on MAC: Mine road blockade rooted in Tahltan dispute

Fortune Minerals 'served eviction notice' by Tahltan Elders

Michael Allan McCrae

Mining.com

17 August 2013

Junior miner Fortune Minerals was served a "24 hour eviction notice" on Thursday by Tahltan Central Council who are opposed to an open pit coal mine in northwestern British Columbia.

The TCC claims the area is an important hunting ground and near ancestral burial grounds. The protesters have set up a camp near the proposed mine.

Video of the protest was uploaded to YouTube

After the eviction notice expires, the protesters are considering a blockade.

"We didn't fight Shell for ten years so a coal company could come along and build an open pit mine in the heart of the Sacred Headwaters," said Mary Dennis, a Tahltan elder in a news release from Skeena Watershed Coalition.

"We've stopped bigger industrial projects before and we'll do it again with help from our supporters and allies."

The Arctos Anthracite project is located adjacent to the Spatsizi wilderness area. The project is a joint venture between Fortune (80%) and Posco Canada Ltd. (20%), a subsidiary of Korea's POSCO that is one of the world's largest steel producers. The project is just 330 km northeast of the Pacific Ocean Port of Prince Rupert.

The project is in the Environmental Assessment ("EA") and permitting process.

In its community relations section of its website, the company says it has retained DPRA Canada Inc., Indigeunity Consulting Group Inc., and Fleishman- Hillard ". . . for their respective expertise in aboriginal engagement and government communication, respectively. Fortune has also hired community relations coordinators for the portion of the project in the Gitxsan and Tahltan territories."

The TCC is the Tahltan Nation governing body representing the collective aboriginal title and rights interests of Tahltan peoples.


Tahltan First Nation Serves Fortune Minerals Eviction Notice

Tahltan First Nation press release

16 August 2013

Tahltan First Nation Calls on Supporters to Travel to Sacred Headwaters to Stand Up to Coal Company

First Nation that defeated Shell's plans to frack in the Sacred Headwaters takes on junior mining company seeking to build an open pit coal mine.

ISKUT, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Members of the Tahltan First Nation have served Fortune Minerals Limited with an eviction notice to pack-up a controversial exploration camp situated near ancestral burial grounds.

The nation and its allies are calling on supporters to travel to the Sacred Headwaters to make a stand against the coal company.

"We didn't fight Shell for ten years so a coal company could come along and build an open pit mine in the heart of the Sacred Headwaters," said Mary Dennis, a Tahltan elder. "We've stopped bigger industrial projects before and we'll do it again with help from our supporters and allies."

Last month, the Tahltan Central Council (TCC) passed a unanimous resolution to protect the Sacred Headwaters from industrial development. The TCC are the elected representatives of the Tahltan Nation, which governs 5000 members and 93,500 square kilometers of unceded traditional Tahltan territory.

"We are calling on those people who have stood with us before, and who have a connection to the Sacred Headwaters, to stand with us again to protect this area once and for all," said Rhoda Quock, spokesperson for the Klabona Keepers, a group of Tahltan elders focused on protecting the Sacred Headwaters for future generations.

Fortune Minerals has been conducting exploratory work for the company's controversial Arctos Anthracite Coal Project, a plan to remove most of Mount Klappan and replace it with a 4,000 hectare open-pit coal mine. The area is adjacent to the Spatsizi wilderness area and is sacred to the Tahltan, who hunt and fish at a camp that has been used for several generations at the foot of the mountain.

"Fortune Minerals couldn't have picked a worse place to try and build an open-pit coal mine," said Shannon McPhail, Executive Director of the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition. "This project is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the company should withdraw, rather than angering local communities over a project that will never be built."

The Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition is assisting members of the public with travel logistics to get into the Sacred Headwaters.

ACTION ALERT: Want to help? Find out five ways to stand up for the Sacred Headwaters! - http://skeenawatershed.com/getinvolved/article/what_can_i_do_to_stand_up_against_fortune_minerals_and_help_protect_the_sac


Tahltan leader to meet Fortune Minerals President at Elder Protest Camp in Sacred Headwaters

Media Advisory

16 August 2013

DEASE LAKE, BC - Who: Tahltan Central Council President Annita McPhee will fly to the Tahltan Elder protest camp in a remote region of the Sacred Headwaters Saturday afternoon to meet with the President of Fortune Minerals Robin Goad who is also flying in on a separate flight.

What: Discuss the "eviction notice" that 30 Tahltan Elders and community members have handed to the coal mining developer.

Where: "Beauty Camp" at the base of Mount Klappan in Tahltan traditional territory in northwest B.C., about a 6 hour drive north of Terrace.

When: Meeting around 5pm Saturday. Phone interviews possible Sunday morning.

Why: Elders and community members have camped out at Mount Klappan since Wednesday, threatening to blockade Fortune mining camp. RCMP Dease Lake detachment is on scene.

Photos:

Photos and video will be made available late Saturday evening from this DropBox: http://ow.ly/o0qi5

Media will be attending, and are other media are welcome to join a charter flight.

Annita McPhee is reachable at: 604-754-9974 -- she is available prior to her 3pm Saturday departure, then again Sunday morning. There is no cell service at Mount Klappan.

Background

Fortune Minerals plans to build massive 4,000-hectare open pit coal mine in "Sacred Headwaters" area of Tahltan territory.

Tahltan Elders served Fortune Minerals with "eviction notice" and are camped at planned mine site.

Tahltan Central Council is the Tahltan Nation governing body representing the collective Aboriginal Title and Rights interests of all Tahltan peoples, numbering about 5,000.

Tahltan Central Council wants permanent protection of the Sacred Headwaters for cultural and spiritual reasons.

Robin Goad, President - Fortune Minerals, invited Annita McPhee, President - TCC to mine site to discuss eviction notice.

Thursday's press release: "Elders threaten blockade against coal mine in Sacred Headwaters"

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