A revised application for the rejected Prosperity Mine still calls for the destruction of one of the two fish-bearing mountain lakes originally scheduled for eradication.
"It is unlikely that Fish Lake would be saved under the new plan, given there would be a massive tailings impoundment immediately upstream and the lake would be in the centre of an industrial mining site," said Ramsay Hart of Mining Watch Canada.
B.C. rookie Premier, Christy Clark, has said one of her top priorities is to reverse Ottawa's decision to reject the proposed gold and copper mine.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the review of the original decision is final, but Environment Minsiter Peter Kent has "...invited the proponent to redesign the project."
In response to the revamped proposal, First Nations and environmentalists are urging Taseko Mines Ltd financial backer Credit Suisse to reject funding for the open-pit Prosperity Mine, which would threaten Little Fish Lake and the traditional way of life of the Tsilhqot'in people.
The letter to Credit Suisse notes that, despite spending 17 years and an estimated $100 million pursuing the project, Taseko Mines Ltd. has failed to secure "the free, prior and informed consent of the affected community." Both the rejected proposal and recent revision were developed "without any consultation with the potentially impacted First Nation communities."
"We are not against mining per se, but projects like this one can never be accepted, and pursuing them only waste everyone's time and resources. We are not willing to sell out the land, the water and our rights, future generations and way of life at any price," said Xeni Gwet'in Chief Marilyn Baptiste, whose Tsilhqot'in First Nation would be most directly impacted.
View March 7, 2011 Mining Watch Canada / Earthworks release
View March 2, 2011 Letter to Credit Suisse (PDF)
View February 22, 2011 West Coast Environmental Law blog
View February 22, 2011 Government of Canada statement (PDF)
View Sierra Club of B.C. webpage "Fish Lake Mine Proposal Revisited"
View April 7, 2010, July 19, 2010, and November 9, 2010 Manitoba Wildlands news items
Source: Sierra Club, Mining Watch Canada