$18 million dollar Klappan coal license price ‘reasonable’

Fortune Minerals and POSCO will divide equally the $18 million being paid by BC Rail

The $18 million paid by a provincial crown corporation to buy out a joint venture’s coal licences in the Klappan area in northwestern B.C. was reasonable, says an official from one of the companies in the joint venture.

The purchase of the 61 licences from the Arctos Anthracite Joint Venture owned by Fortune Minerals of Ontario and POSCO Canada, a Korean subsidiary, by BC Rail ends for now what has been more than a decade of controversy over development in the region.

RELATED: B.C. buys back disputed coal gas lease

Also known as the Sacred Headwaters, the Klappan is within Tahltan traditional territory and the Tahltan have objected to attempts at industrial development in the area used for an array of cultural practices.

Although Fortune had been working for years at getting environmental approval to develop a large-scale open-pit anthracite coal mine in the Klappan, company official Troy Nazarewicz called the $18 million pay out “a reasonable solution for all parties.”

Nazarewicz says his company’s interest in the Klappan was on the wane anyway because of the stalling market for anthracite coal and because the environmental process was dragging on longer than the company wanted.

The company in the past has also been prevented from gaining access to its licences by blockading Tahltan and that resulted in arrests and court appearances.

“Obviously with respect to a development schedule, we’re wishing to move forward more quickly,” Nazarewicz said.

The area had also at one time been placed under a development moratorium by the provincial government.

Fortune and POSCO will divide equally the $18 million being paid by BC Rail.

Fortune entered the Klappan mining picture in 2002 when it purchased the licenses from another company called ConcoPhillips for $3.3 million.

As of the end of 2014, Nazarewicz said Fortune had been carrying a cost of just over $32.3 million on its books.

He estimated that total expenditures from all the companies involved over the years amounted to more than $110 million.

Fortune will use its $9 million from the sale to pay down debt and to provide working capital for other projects.

This is the second time the province has become financially involved in the Klappan.

In late December 2012 it provided Shell Canada with $20 million in royalty credits in return for giving up its rights to coalbed methane gas in the region.

The prospective development of a coalbed methane industry was also protested by the Tahltan.

 

Just Posted

College buys a yurt to boost student success

Round tent-like structure part of college instructional shift

Soup kitchen sees “groundswell of community support”

Donations toward looming tax bill push non-profit back in the black

Terrace husband and wife honoured for saving each other’s lives

BC Ambulance presented each a Vital Link Award for separate incidents of CPR

Council supports lobby for fair share of cannabis tax revenue

The City of Terrace is throwing its support behind a West Kelowna… Continue reading

Airport registers modest passenger increase

Manager anticipates further growth in 2018 as expansion project nears completion

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Complaint against Prince George RCMP in death of Wet’suwet’en man

Thirty-five year old Dale Culver died while in Prince George RCMP custody last summer.

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read