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Taseko says New Prosperity Mine project not dead

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Taseko is not taking no for an answer even though the Federal Government rejected their proposed gold and copper mine near Williams Lake Wednesday for the second time in four years.

The Vancouver company says they fundamentally disagree with Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq’s claims the New Prosperity Mine project would damage the environment.

“This is not the end. Saying no to this project, which is so important to so many people, is not an acceptable conclusion,” says Taseko Vice President of Corporate Affairs Brian Battison.

Battison says the entire company and the people of the Cariboo are terribly shocked and disappointed by the news. “The existing judicial review will continue to run its course. We will be giving consideration to other courses of action which may be available to us.” Taseko entered into the judicial review in December, claiming mistakes were made by Natural Resources Canada in the latest environmental assessments determining environmental impact of seepage from tailing ponds.

The project was rejected in 2010 as well over similar concerns water quality and fish habitat would be adversely affected for nearby Fish Lake, which is significant to First Nations. Battison counters in the latest proposal, Taseko committed more than 300-million dollars to preserve Fish Lake.

He also says the project would create thousands of jobs in the Central Interior area. “The Government of Canada has turned its back on the science, its turned its back on the people of the Cariboo. They have outright rejected the interests and views of the Government of British Columbia, and snatched away the hope of First Nations for a better future in this region, on that would generate new jobs and opportunities closer to where they live… This is the largest undeveloped gold and copper deposit in Canada, the tenth largest in the world. It is a significant provincial asset.”