VANCOUVER – Taseko Mines has applied for a second judicial review of federal government’s rejection of the proposed New Prosperity gold-copper mine project. Environment Canada has twice refused permission for the project 120 km southwest of Williams Lake, BC, first in 2010 and again in 2013.
The problem is the disputed effect of the project on Fish Lake, considered sacred to the Tsilhqot’in First Nations.
Taseko president and CEO Russ Hallbauer said in news release that the New Prosperity project, and specifically Taseko’s plan to save Fish Lake, was not evaluated in a fair, open and transparent manner. “We will seek to rectify both the failed process and the decision that stemmed from it in a court of law, the only reasonable option open to us.”
Among Taseko’s claims are that government officials held inappropriate closed door meetings with opponents of the proposed mine without Taseko’s knowledge or informing the company of the content of those meetings.
“We believe that the final government decision failed to consider critical information submitted by the company and thus failed to fully understand our commitment and ability to protect the environment,” added Hallbauer. “We were never given a fair opportunity to correct any misrepresentations about the project, nor were we allowed to clarify any misunderstanding on our plan to save Fish Lake.”
Taseko is asking the Federal Court to set aside decisions by the CEAA, the Minister of Environment and the Governor in Council because of “a failure to observe the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness.”
Details of the project are available at NewProsperityProject.ca.