Taseko’s Prosperity Mine Hits Roadblock -- Again

B. McPherson

Taseko Mine’s proposal to open a mine in the Williams Lake area that would destroy Little Fish Lake and compromise Fish Lake(Teztan Biny) for years has been rejected by the Feds as second time. This comes at a time when the federal Conservatives have loosened restrictions on industry and downgraded environmental protection practises.

“Citing more than 200 issues with the draft EIS, the federal agency scolds Taseko for missing information, editorial comments, poor data quality and incorrect statements.”SierraClub

The proposal would see the development of a rich deposit of gold and copper. The company estimates that the payoff would be about $3 billion with the added bonus of jobs during the life of the mine. The cost to the environment and to the aboriginal people who live there is incalculable. 

The first proposal was reviewed by both the BC Provincial government and given a green light. It was also reviewed by the feds and given a red light. Now it has come back for a second look and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency(CEAA) has given it a two thumbs down.

The list of shortcomings and misleading statements is lengthy.

Newly re-elected Grand Chief Shawn Atleo had condemned the parameters proposed by Taseko Mines, Ltd. to eliminate the spiritual aspect of the native people or to prohibit children’s plays from the federal review process.

"The actions of the company are completely outrageous," said Atleo. "I know increasingly companies are 'getting' the need to recognize and respect First Nations rights and title, so this isn't the way forward." Canada.com

While the municipal government in Williams Lake has been supportive of the mine’s development, citing jobs for the unemployed, people who have ranches and guide outfits in the area as well as the indigenous people have been steadfast in their opposition to the proposal. Many people in Williams Lake have depended on the forest industry in the past which has been hit hard by the Mountain Pine Beetle.
It is unlikely that Taseko Mines will go away quietly after this lastest rejection of their proposal. They also have proposals for other open pit mines in the works. Currently they operate the Gibraltar Mine, a massive open pit copper mine. Have a look at the link to see if you agree with turning the Fish Lake area into a twin of it.

The following image is of a typical open pit copper mine.

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