Canada’s Taseko Mines Ltd. is seeking a fresh judicial evaluation for its New Prosperity copper-gold mine proposal in British Columbia after a Federal Review Court rejected it for a second time. On completion, the $1.5 billion open-pit project would be the 10th biggest of its kind, contributing $340 million in annual GDP.
The Vancouver-based Taseko is petitioning justices to set aside Environment Ministry and Council Governor decisions based on environmental concerns over nearby Fish Lake, according to CEO Russ Hallbauer. "We seek to rectify the process,” he said; company officials claim having spent $130 million since 2002 on three separate environmental assessments.
But the project has faced consistent, hardline opposition from local native populations, arguing nearby Fish Lake — sacred in their culture — would be damaged. The project, however, has enjoyed robust support from the provincial Liberal government, with Minister of Mines Bill Bennett twice visiting Ottawa to lobby on its behalf.