Good news! CBC reports, “The Federal Review Panel released its long-anticipated report on the proposed New Prosperity copper-gold mine on Thursday night, concluding the mine ‘would result in several significant adverse environmental effects.’ The report specifically says that the mine would negatively impact water quality, fish and fish habitat in Fish Lake, land and resource use, and the cultural heritage of two First Nations directly impacted by the proposal.”
The outstanding challenge? The Globe and Mail reports, “The recommendation is not binding, and the final decision on whether the project will receive an environmental certificate to proceed is up to the federal environment minister.” Reuters adds, “The Canadian government is expected to decide whether the open pit mine can go ahead within 120 days, meaning a decision is likely by the end of February.”
The Vancouver Sun has previously explained, “The company’s original plan, which would have drained Fish Lake and stored waste rock and dirt on the dry lake bed, was rejected in 2010 by a federal panel due to ‘significant adverse environmental effects on fish and fish habitat, on navigation, on the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by first nations,’ as well as adverse cumulative effects on grizzly bears in the south Chilcotin. …Under the new plan, waste rock and dirt will now be trucked and stored north of Fish Lake. A tailings pond, which will store potentially acid-producing mill waste, will be moved upstream two kilometres from Fish Lake. The new plan will alter the watershed’s natural drainage. The tailings pond will limit water flow into Fish Lake, and the outflow of the lake will be cut off by the open mine pit downstream.”
In March 2010, Council of Canadians water campaigner Meera Karunananthan, BC-Yukon organizer Harjap Grewal and Williams Lake chapter activist John Dressler called on the first federal review panel at a hearing in Williams Lake to reject the ‘Prosperity’ proposal. In August 2013, members of the Williams Lake chapter called on the second federal review panel to reject the ‘New Prosperity’ proposal. See blogs on our opposition to this mine here.