A joint federal-provincial review panel has decided it lacks the authority to deal with constitutional issues raised by Alberta Métis and First Nations groups in the proposed expansion of the Jackpine oilsands mine.
The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and region one of the Métis Nation wanted the panel to decide whether Alberta and Canada had met their duties to consult with them.
A spokeswoman for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation told the Canadian Press that the matter will likely be sent to the Alberta Court of Appeal.
Hearings on the project are scheduled to start Monday in Fort McMurray.
Shell Canada wants to increase bitumen production by 100,000 barrels a day. The Jackpine Mine is 70 kilometres north of Fort McMurray.