VANCOUVER - Taseko Mines Ltd.'s proposed New Prosperity gold-copper mine should be rejected outright by the federal government, the David Suzuki Foundation says. A Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency report released Thursday found numerous problems with project.
The New Prosperity Gold-Copper project is merely a modification of a similar proposal that Canada's environment minister rejected in 2010. Then-Environment Minister Jim Prentice told Taskeo Mines the federal government could not accept the project as proposed and suggested the company go back to the drawing board and come up with a proposal that addressed the issues raised by the first review. However, the findings of the latest report are essentially the same as those reached by the first panel.
"This is the second time this project has been subject to such close scrutiny by a phalanx of experts," says David Suzuki Foundation senior science and policy adviser John Werring. "Both review panels have concluded the project would have a range of significant environmental and social impacts, especially regarding impacts to First Nations."
Adverse effects of the project identified by both review panels include impacts on aboriginal rights and uses of the area, water quality, fish and fish habitat and endangered grizzly bears.
"Millions of taxpayers' dollars and thousands of hours of valuable time have been devoted to these environmental reviews by professionals and laypersons alike only to have this panel reach the same conclusions as the first," Werring says. "Given the consistency of the findings between the two reports, there is no logical reason for the federal government to allow this project to proceed."
Final rejection of this project would provide a clear message to industry about what responsible resource development means. It does not mean pushing forward with an ill-conceived project, against the advice of experts and in a manner that fails to respect the environment.
For more information, contact:
John Werring, Senior Science and Policy Adviser, David Suzuki Foundation
Office: (604) 732 — 4228 ext. 1245;
Cell: (604) 306-0517