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NEWS: Taseko to revise Fish Lake application

The Williams Lake Tribune reports today that, “Ever since the federal government turned down Taseko’s Prosperity mine project in November, there has been a sense that the book was not yet closed on the project. Taseko Mines Ltd. recently confirmed that it intends to proceed with a revised proposal.”

“In a press release, company president Russell Hallbauer says, ‘Although we were extremely disappointed with the federal government’s decision on Prosperity, we accept that decision and we are working to address the concerns raised by the many levels of government involved. We expect to submit a revised proposal to federal authorities which should address the impact that the Prosperity mine would have on Fish Lake.’”

“Tsilhqot’in National Government tribal chair and Tl’etinqox (Anaham) chief Joe Alphonse was not receptive. While the draining of Fish Lake was a major stumbling block in the first proposal, a larger issue now is the lack of respect Taseko has shown First Nations, he says. ‘Fish Lake is part of the issue but a huge, huge part of the issue is you have to work with First Nations people in today’s day and age and if you’re not willing to do that, so be it. You’ve got a tough lesson.’ Alphonse insists Taseko has burned its bridges with First Nations communities.”

“When the federal government rejected the initial proposal it said it considered the conclusions of the Federal Review Panel and agreed with the panel’s concerns about the environmental impact of the project. ‘The project as proposed would result in the destruction of Fish Lake and, as a result, a complex and highly productive ecosystem that includes not only the lake but dozens of connecting streams, wetlands and aquatic life. There is significant risk that this cannot be successfully reproduced through man-made substitutes,’ it said.”

There is no word at this time as to when Taseko will submit its plan for Fish Lake and the Prosperity mine project.

The Williams Lake Tribune article is at http://www.bclocalnews.com/bc_cariboo/williamslaketribune/news/113253094.html.