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VANCOUVER – The company behind a controversial mining proposal in British Columbia has filed a lawsuit against one of its critics, alleging an environmental group has made inaccurate and defamatory comments that threaten to mislead the public.
Taseko Mines Ltd. (TSX:TKO) filed a notice of claim in B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday targeting the Western Canada Wilderness Committee and one of its employees over statements the environmental group has made about the company’s New Prosperity gold and copper project.
The project has faced fierce opposition from environmentalists and local First Nations communities and was rejected by a federal government environmental review in 2010.
Late last year, Ottawa agreed to hear a second environmental review after Taseko promised changes designed to address environmental concerns — but those changes have done little to quiet opponents such as the Wilderness Committee.
Taseko’s lawsuit focuses specifically on postings to the group’s website and Facebook account that claim the New Prosperity proposal will harm Fish Lake and Little Fish Lake.
The notice of claim says the online postings wrongly allege the Taseko mine will deposit toxic material into the lakes, turn them into tailings ponds and pollute the headwaters of a major river system.
The company also says the group has wrongly accused Taseko of failing to address concerns raised by a federal environmental review and attempting to deceive the B.C. and federal governments.
The notice of claim, which contains unproven allegations that haven’t been tested in court, asks for damages and an injunction to have the online material removed.
“Taseko welcomes a full, thorough and open process to evaluate the merits of the New Prosperity project,” Russell Hallbauer, CEO of Taseko, said in a news release issued Thursday.
“We cannot, however, stand idly by when certain parties such as the Western Canada Wilderness Committee mislead the public.”
For the rest of this article, please go to the Canadian Business Magazine website: http://www.canadianbusiness.com/article/73662–b-c-mining-company-sues-environmental-advocacy-group-for-defamation