A BC First Nation is set to declare the site of the New Prosperity Mine as a tribal park, while the company behind it, prepares to fight the federal government.
The Tsilhqot’in First Nation is preparing to declare a vast area of the Chilcotin including the site of the proposed New Prosperity Mine, as a tribal Park.
Taseko spokesman, Brian Battison, maintains although a Supreme Court of Canada ruling did find that the Tsilhqot’in people do have title to 1750 square km of land west of Williams Lake, the park would have no impact on the future of the project.
“Declaring a tribal park over an area of crown land has no status in law. The province doesn’t recognize tribal parks and in fact, they reject the concept of tribal parks.”
The park which would cover approx 3100 square kilometers and connect to five surrounding provincial parks, while protecting Tsilhqot’in values, is set to be unveiled on October 4.
Taseko meanwhile is seeking civil action for damages from being rejected by federal panels and the federal government.
“They (federal government) acted deliberately and unlawfully and with the knowledge that their conduct was unlawful and likely to harm Taseko.”
Taseko is set to appear in federal court on October 22, to fight for the mining project which Battison says is in the best interest of people in the Cariboo, including First Nations.
“We’re miners, not litigators. We know the mining business as evident by the operation of the Gibraltar Mine.”
Taseko’s New Prosperity mine was approved by the provincial government but rejected twice by the federal panels and federal government for citing damages to fish and fish habitat.
A ruling on the future of New Prosperity is possible before the end of the year.