It was standing room only at the New Prosperity mine forum that was hosted by the Tsilhqot’in National Government on Thursday night.
Kudos to the TNG for hosting this forum to allow people to voice their views, ask questions and receive information on the proposed gold-copper mine.
We believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion on any issue, including the mine.
However, we also believe that opinions should be based on facts, and it seems there was definitely some misinformation floating around the meeting.
For instance, one person commented that Fish Lake would still be destroyed, as the deposits under the lake would be mined. Taseko has said, however, that the lake wouldn’t be touched and that it would remain intact. In fact, the company has committed to spend an additional $300 million to preserve the lake. But it’s no surprise there is a lot of mis-information out there about the proposed mine. When the original plan was on the table, many of those who opposed the project said Fish Lake would become a tailings facility — that was not in the plans, as the tailings facility was to be built upstream from the lake; yes, the lake would have been drained and thus destroyed. However, destroying the lake is no longer part of the equation.
There also seemed to be a bit of fear mongering at the meeting. One comment, for example, was that there was a danger Taseko could abandon the project at a later time, leaving the taxpayer to clean up the mess. Again, not true. Even if Taseko did abandon the project, B.C. legislation requires mining companies to fully cover reclamation costs, thus protecting the taxpayer from financial liability. Before forming an opinion, make sure you have all of the facts first and foremost.
The facts will be included in Taseko’s environmental impact statement and will be analyzed through the federal environmental assessment, which everyone will have an opportunity to study.