Court battles, layoffs, and the falling price of copper has done little to dampen Taseko’s bid for the proposed New Prosperity Mine.
Brian Battison, VP of Corporate Affairs for Taseko, says the gold and copper will be built; it’s just a matter of time when.
“A deposit like this is rare in the world; it’s the largest undeveloped gold-copper deposit in Canada.”
“It will surely be built into a mine one day. It’s too valuable to British Columbia, it’s too valuable in fact to Canada for those minerals to just lay in the ground and not be used to benefit the lives of people here in the province.”
Battison also says that the provincial government made the right choice in extending the mine’s Environmental Assessment Certificate.
“It’s kind of a routine course of action when an Environmental Assessment Certificate is granted to a project.”
“If that project to substantially start construction in the first 5 years through no fault of its’ own, there’s provision in the law for a 5-year extension of the certificate.”
Criticism and allegations from an environmental group over the proposed New Prosperity Mine saw Taseko presenting a lawsuit in BC Supreme Court on Monday.
Battison says the lawsuit was launched after the Wilderness Committee claimed during a 2012 public comment period that the mine could destroy Fish Lake.
“They had put together some publications that contained some false information, some malicious and defamatory information in fact about Taseko and the New Prosperity.”
“In our opinion the publication was libelous and we asked them to correct the record and cease to making false statements. They declined to do that.”
The proposed mine was undergoing a federal environmental assessment at the time the comments were made.
The National Campaign Director of the Wilderness Committee says that the group’s statements outlined damage it perceives the New Property mine would wreak on the environment before the proceedings began.
The proposed gold and copper mine, which would be located 125 kilometers southwest of Williams Lake has been rejected twice by a federal environmental assessment panel.
45 employees and 20 contractors at Taseko’s Gibraltar Mines meanwhile received layoff notices on Monday due to copper prices that have sunk to a five and a half year low.