VANCOUVER – A proposed $1.5-billion mine that has twice been rejected by Ottawa because of environmental concerns appears to have been given new life, much to the dismay of First Nations and other critics.
In a statement released Tuesday, the Tsilhqot’in National Government, which has been fighting to stop the Taseko Mines Ltd. proposal for years, said it is alarmed the company plans to conduct test drilling for the New Prosperity gold and copper mine.
“It is unbelievable and unacceptable that [Taseko] continues to waste everyone’s time, energy, money and goodwill,” the Tsilhqot’in stated. “The project cannot proceed in the face of the federal government rejection.”
The mine was approved by the B.C. government early in 2010, but Ottawa rejected it later that year after completing a federal environmental review. The federal government ruled against New Prosperity a second time, in 2014, after the project came back for review with an altered plan that didn’t include draining Fish Lake to dispose of tailings.
In its second ruling, Ottawa concluded that despite the changes, the project “is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects that cannot be mitigated.”
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