Taseko expects B.C. mine to get federal OK
Vancouver-based Taseko Mines said Tuesday it expects that its proposed open-pit mine in British Columbia will get federal cabinet approval.
CEO Russell Hallbauer predicted the cabinet will agree with a decision by the British Columbia government to approve the project, despite a federal review panel's conclusion that the project would pose threats to the environment.
"The federal government will make a decision that supports the provincial decision," Hallbauer told analysts on a conference call to discuss the Prosperity mining project.
The B.C. government recently granted a 25-year mining lease to Taseko for the gold and copper mine near Williams Lake.
However, the panel, in a ruling Friday, said the proposed mine would threaten the environment, including fish habitat.
"If a provincial government approves a project and then the federal [government] rejects it, I think that's going to not be a very good process that we would find ourselves in," Hallbauer told analysts.
"It's a very serious issue for federal and provincial relationships, I would think," he said. "If something happens that's contrary to that, we will address that at the time."
Taseko said it expects the cabinet will review the question this fall.
With files from The Canadian Press