The controversy around Taseko Mines’ New Prosperity gold and copper project, to be installed in the British Columbia Interior, keeps growing. The First Nations guarantee the project won’t happen without a (legal) fight.
The native groups claim the pressure on Ottawa to approve the mine, imposed by the provincial mines minister, is a disgrace and an open act against the advice of an environmental review panel, The Globe and Mail reported. In response to the federal government’s decision, the Tsilhqot’in National Government promised to take the mine to court and demand millions of dollars in compensation.
According to the Tsilhqot’in tribal chairman, Joe Alphonse, the province is walking towards an “all-out conflict” with First Nations over aboriginal rights regarding the tenth largest undeveloped gold-copper deposit in the world, where the New Prosperity mine was supposed to be installed.
The mining minister Bill Bennett recently met with several business leaders to urge the federal government to approve Taseko’s proposal. The mine was already rejected once because it would affect an important lake to the First Nations. After that, the company revised the plan.
Nevertheless, the second environmental review equally considered the mine as a potential source of adverse environmental effects. Still, Taseko launched a judicial review, claiming the commission used the wrong information to reach a conclusion.