Now is the not time to further contaminant water says the Tsilhqot’in National Government who has great concerns over Taseko’s waiting to be approved permit to increase their discharge into the Fraser River from the Gibraltar mine by 50%.
Tribal Chair Chief Joe Alphonse says the first concern they have and will always be is the quality of water and the effects it may have on aquatic life.
“We’re very dependent on the aquatic life the Fraser has to bring up. Right now, this past summer as an indication the Chilko Lake run was the only healthy run that came into the Fraser so salmon runs all throughout BC are really suffering,” he says.
Alphonse adds that Taseko is putting their own agenda ahead of the environment and consulting with First Nations in response to Taseko Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Brian Battison who said the permit needs to be approved in as timely a manner as possible by the provincial government to avoid the only two possible outcomes-a potential breach or closure of the mine.
“Get in line with Taseko is what he’s telling everyone and I think there are always options,” he says.
“There’s always different scenarios out there with the technology that’s out there today. You have to do everything in your ability to look at the best possible option, not necessarily what will make the company the most money.”
Alphonse says the TNG has not been consulted on the permit which was submitted back in June to the level they want to be
He goes on to say that they have a long history with Taseko.
“We’re fully aware that Taseko will say anything and do anything to achieve its ultimate goal and bending the truth is something that they wouldn’t hesitate to do so we don’t have any faith or confidence in the words that this company will say.”
The permit was submitted in June and if approved will allow Gibraltar to increase their discharge which is essentially rain, snowmelt, and groundwater this fall says Battison.
The temporary nature of the application will enable Battison adds in-river sampling and the verification of a dilution model which based on the results, a permanent application would then be submitted in fall 2016.
Gibraltar Mine is currently permitted to discharge 3.6 million cubic meters of water a year, which Battison says there are no environmental impacts from.
The original story can be viewed here.