Prosperity mine OK'd for review

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) announced Nov. 7 that a revised proposal for Taseko Mines' gold and copper New Prosperity Mine project in the Chilcotin would undergo an environmental assessment by a federal review panel.

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett said this offers a great opportunity for the mutual benefit of the people in her riding, the province and the country.

"The people who were opposed to it were upset over the fact that Fish Lake would be gone, and there would be a new lake. Now, it's my understanding Fish Lake will remain, and so the opportunity to have another look at it, I think is great."

The Tsilhqot'in Nation stated its "anger, frustration, bewilderment and disappointment" in reaction to the announcement that a revised Prosperity Mine proposal will go back for another federal review.

Said Tsilhqot'in National Government Tribal Chair Chief Joe Alphonse: "This is a wrong decision that makes no sense to us and raises serious concerns, but at least the minister of environment recognizes these must be addressed through a public review panel that ensures full transparency and accountability."

The CEAA's Notice of Commencement indicates it will complete the environmental review in no more than 12 months, a timeline that is possible through the use of information gathered in the previous environmental assessment.

Taseko's president and CEO Russell Hallbauer said that pending a better understanding of the specifics, the timeline suggests a significant commitment by CEAA to work effectively with them in this process.

"Today's announcement by CEAA recognizes the importance of this project and provides a path for Taseko to continue to advance New Prosperity."


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