Canadian Mining Journal


GOLD-COPPER: Taseko files civil suit over New Prosperity rejection

VANCOUVER – Last week Taseko Mines filed a civil suit in the BC Supreme Court seeking damages from the federal government over its denial of permits for the New Prosperity gold-copper project 125 km southwest of Williams Lake.

The lawsuit claims that the government of Canada and its agents failed to meet the legal duties that were owed to Taseko and that in doing so they caused and continue to cause damages, expenses and loss to Taseko. John Hunter QC of Hunter Litigation Chambers is representing the mining company.

The New Prosperity project is based on 831 million tonnes of proven and probable reserves averaging 0.23% Cu and 0.41 g/t Au. The reserves contain 3.6 billion lb of recoverable copper and 7.7 million oz of recoverable gold. Development costs could easily top $1 billion, but the economic benefits over the life of the project would be many more billions.

The project has been hotly opposed by the Tsilhqot’in First Nation. They fear the destruction of Tiztan Biny, a sacred body of water also known as Fish Lake. Based on these fears, the federal government denied permission to develop the deposit in November 2010.

Taseko has repeatedly amended its plans for New Prosperity, including a $300-million proposal to move and upgrade the tailings management area. Applications for permits were resubmitted in 2013. Environment Canada again denied authorization to proceed in February 2014, despite the support of the BC Liberal government and its Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennet in late 2013.

At that time Taseko charged the environmental review committee based its rejection on the wrong tailings plan. The company alleged that the panel relied on modeling undertaken by Natural Resources Canada rather than on the design submitted with Taseko’s application. The company challenged the panel’s findings.

“Given the conduct of the government of Canada and its agents we have no other choice but to defend the interests of our shareholders and to protect their assets,” said Taseko president & CEO Russell Hallbauer. (

It seems that only lawyers will be making a living from New Prosperity for the foreseeable future.

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2 Comments » for GOLD-COPPER: Taseko files civil suit over New Prosperity rejection
  1. Needajob says:

    Hopefully fuddle-duddle’s son takes this opportunity to let Taseko create the jobs that will help pay for some of the tremendous tax load that some of us will be paying over the next 4 years and beyond. Taseko has the smarts to make this work cleanly and properly if given a fair chance. Sad how Quebec was allowed to dump 8 million litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence river and eventually into the ocean and our world’s food supply in November 2015 with nothing more than a statement from our new Environment minister Makenna that the dumping would be monitored as she sipped wine in Paris at climate change conference. But whoever said that politics was fair.

    • Needajob says:

      Actually it was 8 BILLION litres of raw sewage in November 2015 and it was done 3 times that are known about over the last couple of years….. against the wishes of First Nations people along the river. How does that compare with a company that is taking precautions to do the least amount of harm to the environment, and a lot smaller body of water and a lot less biological life, while creating jobs and income for several hundreds of people including for those who oppose it? I for one would like one of those jobs to help feed my family Mr. Trudeau.

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