The recent letter by Brian Battison reiterates the main bargaining point for supporters of the New Prosperity mine: employment and a boost for the economy of Williams Lake.
This lure of economic benefits is enough to bring the business association and local council on side. Battison refers to the “economic impact” of this project. An interesting choice of words.
The impact this mine could have upon the land, lakes, watersheds, fish, wildlife and the Taseko River would be unbelievable. This beautiful area would never be the same. A project of this magnitude would have a cumulative effect far too great to allow this project to proceed.
This would be the second largest open pit mine in Canada. The gold is a very low concentration. A huge volume of earth would be excavated, moved, processed, then transported as concentrate to the Gibraltar loading facility at McAllister. The greenhouse gas emissions would be extreme.
Taseko Mines has never put forward a truly alternative proposal. It was not “economically feasible” for it to do so. It could have proposed angled drilling, leaving the waterways intact, and taken its ore south.
Opponents of the mine believe the lakes and waterways will be severely affected, possibly destroyed. A 400-foot “containment dam” may not hold up.
The Shuswap bands are unanimously opposed to the transmission line that would go through their lands. The Tsilhqot’in people of Nemiah Valley spent 17 years in provincial court to establish their aboriginal rights to the land and resources in the area that includes Fish Lake. They won their case.
Taseko Mines does not have a good working relationship with the Tsilhqot’in people. It would exploit their lands to extract the precious metals, imposing its will upon the First Nations people. This has not worked well in the past.