Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi’it and NWP Coal Sign One-of-a-Kind Agreement
Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ‘it and NWP Coal Canada Ltd are pleased to announce they have signed a one-of-a-kind Environmental Assessment Process and Consent Agreement for NWP’s proposed Crown Mountain Coking Coal Project.
This Agreement paves a new era of relationship building with Indigenous Nations throughout the EA process and for the lifetime of the project garnering a mutual respect partnership between both parties.
Under the Agreement, YQT will act as a regulator and reviewer of the Crown Mountain Coking Coal Project (the “Crown Mountain Project” or the “Project”) and in so doing will fully engage in the Environmental Assessment of the Project for the purpose of providing or withholding Free, Prior, Informed Consent to the Project following completion of the Environmental Assessment.
NWP’s Crown Mountain Coking Coal project is located near Sparwood, BC, within ʔakanuxunik̓ ʔamakʔis in the East Kootenay region. These are the unceded ancestral lands of YQT over which YQT declares and exercises its inherent and Section 35 aboriginal rights and title.
Crown Mountain Project is a steelmaking coal project anticipated to start production in 2026. NWP’s application includes innovative accelerated reclamation initiatives, best practice environmental design, management, and monitoring to ensure protection of flora, fauna and water quality in the Elk Valley. The location and scale of the Project provides a unique opportunity for the development of a premium steelmaking coal project with a substantially reduced environmental impact than that of historical and current coal production. President of NWP, Michael Gray stated: “This is a huge step in the new era for natural resource development in British Columbia.
NWP is committed to designing and operating a better Project which includes learning from the past, building environmental controls into the Project from the beginning, and taking direction from Indigenous Nations. Having support and a strongly built relationship with YQT throughout the process and timelines of the Project ensures that NWP will understand the impacts of the Project on Indigenous Nations in natural resource development.” Nasuʔkin (Chief) Heidi Gravelle, Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ‘it stated: “Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ‘it is very pleased to see NWP committing to a consent-based environmental assessment for the Project. For too long, Indigenous Nations have not been brought to the table in decision-making directly affecting our rights and interests.
We look forward to working with NWP and the regulators as we exercise our full seat at the table as a decision maker in our own territories.”
ABOUT NWP Coal Canada Ltd
NWP Coal Canada Ltd (NWP), is the proponent of the Crown Mountain Hard Coking Coal Project. NWP is a joint venture between Jameson Resources Limited (77.94%) and Bathurst Resources Limited (22.06%). Jameson Resources Limited, an Australia Securities Exchange (ASX) listed company (ASX: JAL), focuses on the exploration and development of premium coking coal projects in Western Canada. Bathurst Resources Limited is a New Zealand registered, ASX listed company (ASX: BRL) that specializes in coal exploration, development, and production with existing operations in New Zealand.
ABOUT Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi’it
The members of Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ‘it (in English, “Tobacco Plains Indian Band”) are the descendants of the distinct group of Indigenous people who have occupied, controlled, and been the exclusive stewards over their unceded ancestral lands, ʔakanuxunik̓ ʔamakʔis, since time immemorial. Today, Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ‘it is a self-governing indigenous First Nation, dedicated to improving the health, safety, education, and financial security of its people while supporting them in their right to practice their cultural and traditional ways. Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi’it pursues self-determination through economic empowerment and believes in responsible resource development within its traditional territory. Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ‘it people are part of the larger family of Ktunaxa (Kootenay) speaking peoples of British Columbia, Idaho, and Montana. The Tobacco Plains Indian Reserve comprises 10,600 acres surrounding Grasmere, in Southeastern British Columbia.