New Prosperity open houses to run Monday

Two public open houses on the New Prosperity mine will take place on Monday at the Gibraltar Room.

Two public open houses on the New Prosperity mine will take place on Monday at the Gibraltar Room.

The first will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., with a presentation to start it off. The second will take place from 7 to 9 p.m., beginning with a presentation.

Brian Battison, vice president of corporate affairs for Taseko Mines Ltd., says there are three reasons the company will hold the open houses: to ensure that people have factual information; to help people understand what the new mine design looks like and for people to better understand the plans to preserve Fish Lake; and for people to understand the potential value and benefits of the proposed project.

He says that in addition to an overview of the project and how it can be built, people will be able to ask questions of Taseko staff who are familiar with the different aspects of the project.

“For example, we will probably have five or six different stations to go to if you want,” Battison says, citing stations pertaining to economic benefits and community value; water and fish management; mining operations and infrastructure; reclamation, land use, terrestrial assessments; and respecting First Nations interests, for example.

Battison says there will be six representatives from Taseko at the open house, including four local people.

He says there has been misinformation circulating about the project.

“That is an unfortunate situation,” he says. “We want the public to have all of the information, all of the facts. That’s why we created that microsite (http://www.newprosperityproject.ca/ ) to get people to have all of the facts because it is a very important project.”

An animated video on the project will also be shown at the open houses, which will also take place in 100 Mile House from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17 at the Valley Room in the 100 Mile Lodge Conference Centre.

“We need to engage with the public, consult with the public, and get them information, and this is one of the ways to do that,” he adds.

Battison notes that the environmental review panel hearings are expected to be held in late summer/early fall as well.

“There are still no final terms of reference, and no panel, but we are expecting them (CEAA) to issue the final terms of reference for the panel and appoint the panel members, and we are expecting that to take place in April but we don’t know for sure.”

A federal government decision on the project, he says, is expected late this year.

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