A B.C. mining company says the Provincial Appeal Court ruling, which upheld a B.C. Supreme Court ruling in a government consultation dispute with the West Moberly First Nation threatens jobs and economic development in the Northeast region.
First Coal Corporation says the ruling will delay plans to invest $250 million in developing a mine northeast of Chetwynd, which would create hundreds of construction jobs and full time employment for approximately 450 people.
However, the court ruling, which was released Thursday, states the province did not adequately consult with the West Moberly when it approved a coal permit for the project.
The First Nation argued the permit would infringe on its hunting rights and destroy the habitat of an endangered caribou herd.
West Moberly Chief Roland Willson says he is happy with the supreme court’s decision.
[asset|aid=3587|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=0ca61f5e07141e49e9a45f386fb1c299-Willson – 2_1_Pub.mp3]
First Coal insists it is committed to protecting the Burnt Pine caribou habitat, and will continue working with the provincial government and the West Moberly on the issue.