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NEWS: Destruction of Fish Lake not necessary, Taseko admits

The Williams Lake Tribune reports that, “Taseko Mines Ltd. has confirmed it is ‘examining alternate ways to build (the) Prosperity (mine).’ Brian Battison, vice-president of corporate affairs for Taseko, (now) thinks the economics could be such that Fish Lake could be removed from the equation.”

In a remarkable admission, “(Battison says,) ‘There were always alternate ways to build the project that would mean no impact to Fish Lake but none of them were economic.’ (But they can do it now) due to the current (significantly higher) price of copper and gold on the world market…” In other words, a simple fluctuation in the price of a commodity and the resulting profit margin means that Taseko can resubmit to the federal government for approval of the Prosperity Mine, but this time apparently without proposing the destruction of Fish Lake.

This begs the question, what if Fish Lake had been permanently destroyed only to see the price of copper and gold change six months later rendering that destruction unnecessary?

Or if this commodity price increase means Fish Lake needn’t be destroyed, could this not also be the case for Sandy Pond and any other Schedule 2 lake?

Using Sandy Pond as a tailings pond is estimated to cost $62 million; a tailings containment area that would hold the mine’s waste separate from the water would cost $490 million. What if the price of nickel were to increase enough to cover the $428 million gap or even just significantly reduce it?

Or what if the cost of protecting the lake were considered the cost of business for a corporation with billions in profits like Vale, rather than the current approach of a public subsidy (the giving away of a lake to a corporation for its private use) granted by the federal government?

The article is at http://www.bclocalnews.com/bc_thompson_nicola/ashcroft_cachecreekjournal/business/114508904.html.