To understand why we are so adamant the resubmitted Prosperity Mine project must be rejected and now, it is important to know the following facts.
This is not a new proposal. It is worse than the original plan. The new funding is not for new mitigation work. At best this option would merely prolong the death throes of Fish Lake.
We know all this because Taseko Mines Ltd. (TML) told us so. It is all on record.
VP operations Brian Battison told the review panel on March 22, 2010: “We searched hard for a different way. A way to retain the lake and have the mine. But there is no viable alternative. The lake and the deposit sit side by side. It is not possible to have one without the loss of the other.”
And TML’s VP of engineering Scott Jones explained: “What happens to the water quality in Fish Lake, if you try and preserve that body of water with the tailings facility right up against it, is that over time the water quality in Fish Lake will become equivalent to the water quality in the pore water of the tailings facility, particularly when it’s close.”
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency panel stated: “The Panel agrees with the observations made by Taseko and Environment Canada that Mine Development Plans 1 and 2 would result in greater long-term environmental risk than the preferred alternative.”
TML admits on page 20 of its project description that “Option 2 is the basis for the New Prosperity design.”
And the project executive summary reveals the $300 million in new money involves “$200 million to purchase additional mining equipment” and “$100 million in direct extra operating costs.”
So by the company’s own admission, and the findings of a CEAA review panel report that the then environment minister called “scathing” and “condemning,” this project has already been found worse than the one rejected last year, and cannot be approved.
It makes no sense to waste any more time or resources on this when there are more important and acceptable economic options we could pursue.
Marilyn Baptiste, Chief,
Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government