The second attempt by Taseko Mines to obtain required environmental licenses for the "New Prosperity Mine", which once again threatens Fish Lake in British Columbia's interior, continues to attract public controversy.
Taseko's first proposal was rejected November 2, 2010 by then Environmental Affairs Minister Jim Prentice. Public and First Nations concerns over impacts of mining operations on Fish Lake continue. A federal review panel found the proposed mine would cause irreparable damage to both First Nations rights and the environment, including to fish stocks and grizzly populations. The company submitted a revised proposal August 9, 2011, which was accepted by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency November 7, 2011.
Taseko Mines filed a Notice of Civil Claim against the Western Canada Wilderness Committee March 1st, accusing the Wilderness Committee and its outreach director Sven Biggs for "a series of false and defamatory statements concerning Taseko and its proposed New Prosperity Gold-Copper Project."
The Wilderness Committee has vowed to fight the civil claim.
"This ill-conceived mine proposal should be turned down once and for all. That's our view and we're standing by it. We believe this court action stifles fair comment about Taseko's environmentally risky mine proposal. People should be able to enjoy full participation in the Federal Environmental Review process, including the right to comment – without fear of time-consuming and costly litigation," said Joe Foy, national campaign director for the Wilderness Committee.
View March 2, 2012 Indian Country Today article
View March 2, 2012 Williams Lake Tribune coverage
View March 2, 2012 CTV coverage
View February 29, 2012 Tsilhqot'in First Nation Press Release
View February 16, 2012 Sierra Club BC coverage
View November 7, 2011 Sierra Club BC press release
View October 28, 2011 Manitoba Wildlands news item
View March 2, 2012 Indian Country article
View Manitoba Wildlands Aboriginal Rights & Title, Treaties & Traditional Territory
Sierra Club of BC, Williams Lake Tribune, Indian Country Today