The Council of Canadians and Tsilhqot'in First Nation are fighting to save Fish Lake from becoming a tailings pond. Vancouver based Taseko mines want to to use Fish Lake as tailings pond for its copper-gold project. Taseko says it is not realistic to preserve the lake and is offering to creat an artificial lake elsewhere.
Fish Lake contains approximately 85,000 trout, an important source of food for local Tsilhqot'in communities. The lake is central to traditional land used for berry picking and hunting. The Council of Canadians is urging the federal review panel to reject the mining project. Environmental groups are prepared to create a legal challenge against Canada's Fisheries Act regulation that allows lakes to be defined as tailing ponds.
Mine tailings contain toxic waste including arsenic, mercury, and lead that can leach into the environment affecting water quality and wildlife habitat. There is a for tailings from this proposed mine to contaminate the Fraser River, site of the largest wild salmon run in North America.
This project (Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine Project) is currently under review through the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
View March 22, 2010 Vancouver Sun article
View February 26, 2010 The Land Keepers media release
View Protect Fish Lake website
View Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine Project listing
Source: Vancouver Sun, Land Keepers
Photo Source: Protect Fish Lake