In keeping with its commitment to work collaboratively with the Tahltan Nation towards a shared vision for land use in the Klappan area of Tahltan territory, government today announced a temporary deferral on any new coal tenures in the Klappan.
The Klappan Coal Licence Deferral Area Order is a temporary measure issued under the Environment and Land Use Act and will be in place for approximately one year from December 2013 to December 2014. During that time a cross-ministry team from Environment, Energy and Mines, Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, and Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations will continue discussions with the Tahltan Nation, industry and communities.
In September 2013 the Tahltan Nation and the government initiated the Klappan Strategic Initiative to develop a land and resource use vision for the Klappan. The Klappan Coal Licence Deferral Area Order is a positive first step towards that goal.
The deferral area covers approximately 255,000 hectares and there are 62 coal license applications that will be affected by this deferral. Existing coal tenures and authorizations will not be affected and this order will not apply to existing projects such as Arctos Anthracite Project.
Government is committed to responsible resource extraction that supports good jobs for families and is also committed to working closely with First Nations on issues of cultural significance. Pausing for one year will enable government and the Tahltan to take the time to consider what activities are appropriate for the Klappan and the special significance the Klappan has for the Tahltan people.
Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Core Review -
"This is an interim measure that will enable further discussions with the Tahltan on a balanced solution that supports responsible resource development and recognizes the important cultural values in the Klappan."
Mary Polak, Minister of Environment -
"The Premier has asked us to consult with communities, First Nations and industry to potentially develop a provincially designated protected area in the Klappan. The deferral of coal tenures supports this effort towards achieving our common objective."
Map of deferral area: ftp://ftp.geobc.gov.bc.ca/dss/pub/landuse/ELUC_order
Ministry of Energy and Mines and Responsible for Core Review