Protect Fish Lake - Teztan Biny

Letters & News

Below are letters to the editor, newspaper articles and media releases regarding Fish Lake / Prospertity Mine Project

New Fish Lake Mine Review Points to Flawed Assessment Process Sierra Club BC calls Ottawa's decision to revive mine proposal a waste of taxpayers' money

November 7, 2011

Victoria, B.C.-Ottawa's decision to accept a repackaged Prosperity Mine proposal for environmental review is a "disappointing and absurd" waste of taxpayers' money, Sierra Club BC said today.

Taseko Mines Ltd's original proposal for a gold and copper mine near Williams Lake was rejected last year by former federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice, following a scathing environmental assessment that concluded the mine would cause irreparable damage to First Nations rights, as well as to fish stocks and at-risk grizzly populations.

"This repackaged proposal would be even more environmentally destructive than the original proposal, according to Taseko's own statements," said Sierra Club BC Executive Director George Heyman. "There is something seriously wrong with our assessment process when a company like Taseko can simply re-submit a mining proposal after it has been soundly
rejected. It would be a far better use of time and money to focus on mining proposals that are more environmentally appropriate and have the support of First Nations."

Heyman called on the B.C. government to revoke permits it recently granted Taseko to build 23.5 kilometers of roads and to make 59 test pits and 18 drill holes around Fish Lake in preparation for the $1 billion mine. The proposed mine is on the traditional lands of the Xeni Gwet'in First Nation, a member of the Tsilhqot'in National Government, which won a court case recognizing its rights to the area and is staunchly opposed to the mine.

"Allowing Taseko to start preparations for their toxic tailings pond points to serious flaws in B.C.'s mining laws and a lack of due process," said Heyman.

Taseko's revised project avoids draining picturesque Fish Lake, home to 80,000 rainbow trout and once featured on a B.C. tourism brochure. Instead of the company's original proposal to drain the lake, its revised proposal says the lake would be surrounded by the proposed open-pit mine, unusable for the life of the mine (up to 33 years) and, by the company's own admission, essentially destroyed by leaching from nearby mine waste.

Sierra Club BC and the Tsilhqot'in National Government are calling on Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to reduce time and costs by appointing the same panel members who examined Taseko's original proposal to the new review. It's the first time a company has ever resubmitted a reshaped proposal for federal environmental review after it has been rejected.


George Heyman, Sierra Club BC Executive Director: (604) 312-6595
Sarah Cox, Sierra Club BC Communications Director: (250) 812-1762

Posted by: Wolfgang Zilker Tuesday Nov 08, 2011 16:10
Categories: Prosperity Mine, Teztan Biny | Tags: Environmental Assessment, Sierra Club