A letter written by the chair of the federal review panel for the proposed New Prosperity gold-copper mine project near Williams Lake outlines a site visit made by the panel on July 12 and 13.
In the letter, chair Bill Ross says the panel made the site visit with its secretariat and did not meet or interact with the proponent, Taseko Mines Limited, or with any registered parties during the tour.
On July 12, the areas visited by the group included Lower Fish Creek at the intersection of Taseko Lake Road/White Water Road, the north shore of Fish Lake, the proposed location of the southern part of the Open Pit and Big Onion Lake.
Access roads viewed by the panel included Highway 20 from Williams Lake to Hanceville, Taseko Lake Road/White Water Road from Hanceville to Big Onion Lake, 4500 Road to close to the proposed location of the Access Road to the mine site, and Fish Lake Road to Fish Lake from Taseko Lake Road.
On July 13, the panel conducted an aerial tour of the proposed project area via helicopter, making a number of ground stops at several locations.
Features and locations visited or viewed included the existing BC Transmission Line from Williams Lake to the proposed tie-in station at Dog Creek, the location of the tie-in station at Dog Creek, the entire route of the proposed transmission line and the location of its proposed crossing at the Fraser River.
They visited the location of the proposed open pit and water bodies in the project area including Fish Lake, Little Fish Lake/Nabas, Big Onion Lake, Wasp Lake, upper and lower Fish Creek, Beece Creek and the Taseko River near the mine site.
They also visited the location of the proposed main and south embankments of the tailings storage facility as marked by cut lines, Taseko Lake Lodge and the historical settlement at Y’anah Biny (Little Fish Lake).
Completing the tour, they drove from Williams Lake to the Gibraltar Mine concentrate load-out facility near Macalister, also on July 13.
“This visit has greatly improved the panel’s and its secretariat’s understanding of the geography of the project,” Ross states in the letter, adding the panel thanks all registered participants who provided comments and suggestions prior to the site visit.