Canadian Manufacturing

Ottawa again shoots down Taseko’s New Prosperity mine project

Federal Environment Minister cited "adverse environmental effects" in decision to turn down B.C. project

VANCOUVER—A Canadian mining firm has had a proposed open pit gold and copper mine in British Columbia refused yet again by the federal government.

Citing “adverse environmental effects” brought on by the project, federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq denied Taseko Mines Ltd. a permit for its New Prosperity mine.

The decision marks the second time the federal government has turned down the project that would see the Vancouver-based firm build on a deposit in B.C.’s Interior that contains an estimated 5.3 billion pounds of copper and 13.3 million ounces of gold.

Taseko was first refused in November 2010.

The latest application was for an operation with an annual production capacity of 108 million pounds of copper and 247 thousand ounces of gold over the 20-year life of the project.

In her decision, Aglukkaq said the project was “likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects,” and cited a report from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) to support the conclusion.

The federal review panel cited adverse effects on water quality and fish, as well as negative impacts on wetlands, grizzly bear and moose populations, and land use issues in the area about 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake, B.C., as grounds for denial.

In a statement released by the company, Taseko said it “fundamentally disagrees with the decision,” and claimed the “panel report which contains serious flaws.”

Taseko said it will proceed with a federal judicial review that was filed in December, challenging some of the CEAA report’s findings.

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