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.