Taseko Mines Ltd. has again submitted a revised proposal for the "New Prosperity Mine", and once again the proposal threatens Fish Lake in British Columbia's interior.
The Canadian federal government rejected Taseko's first proposal. Public and First Nations concerns over conversion Fish Lake into a mining tailings pond, and findings of an environmental review panel resulted in Environmental Affairs Minister Jim Prentice rejecting the project November 2, 2010.
Minster Prentice described the panel report, as "scathing" and "the most condemning I have ever read."
The review panel found that a Fish Lake mine would cause irreparable damage to both First Nations rights and the environment, including to fish stocks and grizzly populations.
The company is back with a revised proposal. Fish Lake would be surrounded by the proposed open-pit mine and unusable for the life of the mine (up to 33 years). Over time, the water quality in Fish Lake would become "equivalent" to the water quality in the tailings facility, according to the company's own engineering expert.
The nearby Xeni Gwet'in First Nation, member of Tsilhqot'in Nation, strongly opposes this mine and like before, have not been adequately consulted.
"Why are we here again for the second time ... why can't we as first nations focus more on building partnerships with industry?" said Marilyn Baptiste, Chief of the Xeni Gwet'in First Nation.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) will decide whether to accept Taseko's revised project by November 7, 2011.
View Sierra Club of British Columbia, New Fish Lake Proposal A Disaster website
View October 25, 2011 Williams Lake Tribune article
View October 19, 2011 Globe and Mail article
View October 19, 2011 Vancouver Sun article
View September 30th, 2011 West Coast Environmental Law article
View August 2011, New Prosperity Gold-Copper Project Taseko Mines Ltd. (PDF)
View July 2, 2010, Report of the Federal Review Panel: Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine Project Taseko Mines Ltd. British Columbia (PDF)
View March 17, 2009, Project Information: Prosperity Gold-Copper Project, Government of British Columbia
Visit Council of Canadians action page
Visit Sierra Club BC's action page
Visit MiningWatch Canada page
View April 9, 2011 Manitoba Wildlands news item
Sierra Club of British Columbia