Minister's Response

Physical Activities

Telkwa Coal Limited is proposing the construction, operation, decommissioning, and reclamation of the Tenas Project (the physical activities referred to as the Project), a new open-pit metallurgical coal mine located approximately 25 kilometres south of Smithers, British Columbia. The Project would have a production capacity of 775,000 to 825,000 tonnes per year (2,123 to 2,260 tonnes per day), over a life of mine of approximately 25 years.


The Project does not warrant designation.


Pursuant to section 9 of the Impact Assessment Act (the IAA), I, Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, considered the potential for the Project to cause adverse effects within federal jurisdiction, adverse direct or incidental effects, public concern related to these effects, as well as adverse impacts on the Aboriginal and Treaty rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada. In forming my opinion, I took into account the analysis prepared by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.

I am of the opinion that the designation of the Project is unwarranted for the following reasons:

  • The regulatory processes that currently apply to the Project and related consultations with potentially impacted Indigenous peoples provide a framework to address the potential adverse aforementioned effects and impacts, and concerns raised by Indigenous peoples and members of the public. These processes include:
    • the ongoing provincial environmental assessment being conducted in accordance with British Columbia's Environmental Assessment Act, 2002;
    • the potential provincial authorizations and approvals, should the Project receive a provincial Environmental Assessment Certificate, including those required under British Columbia's Mines Act; Environmental Management Act; Water Sustainability Act; and Heritage Conservation Act; and,
    • the federal authorizations, approvals, and reporting requirements that may be required under the Fisheries Act; Species at Risk Act; Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994; Explosives Act; Canadian Navigable Waters Act, and Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
  • The Project must be carried out in compliance with provincial and federal and legislation, including the Fisheries Act; the Species at Risk Act; the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994; the Explosives Act; the Canadian Navigable Waters Act; the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
  • The potential adverse effects within federal jurisdiction or adverse direct or incidental effects would be limited through project design, by application of standard mitigation measures, and managed through existing legislative mechanisms.


Document Reference Number: 4

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