Taseko re-submits environmental impact for New Prosperity mine
Taseko Mines Ltd. said Thursday it has formally submitted an environmental impact statement for its $1.1-billion New Prosperity project in B.C. in a renewed bid to build the mine that was rejected in 2010.
The submission, which includes the company's plans to manage and minimize environmental impacts of the project, will form the core of the material reviewed by three-member panel assessing the project.
Taseko is looking to build an open pit gold-copper mine approximately 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake, B.C.
The Tsilhqot'in National Government has strongly opposed Taseko's gold and copper mine project, saying the development will kill Fish Lake, preventing access to a place of spiritual importance.
The company said it would spend an extra $300 million to address concerns and promised to save Fish Lake, which band members say is culturally significant to them. Taseko's original proposal involved draining Fish Lake and using it for a tailings pond.
"We are committed to the responsible development of New Prosperity," Taseko president and chief executive Russell Hallbauer said in a statement.
"The final steps in the federal environmental assessment process -- an examination of those components of the project that have changed or that are new from the previous project proposal -- can now be undertaken."
The company was ordered to rewrite the environmental impact statement earlier this year after the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency concluded a draft was riddled with gaps, deficiencies and missing information.
The proposed mine was approved by the B.C. government, but then rejected after a federal government environmental review in 2010.
Ottawa agreed last year to hear a second environmental review after Taseko reworked the project.