MiningWatch Canada has released a report on Taseko Mines Ltd. (TSX: TKO, NYSE AMEX: TGB) that cautions investors about the significant risks and uncertainties that investments in the mid-tier mining company could be exposed to given the company’s continued expenditures and efforts to advance its controversial New Prosperity Gold-Copper Project. These include:
- Taseko’s New Prosperity Project continues to face major challenges in obtaining necessary environmental approvals.
- The New Prosperity does not have and is unlikely to get a social licence to operate from the affected First Nations communities and Aboriginal governments.
- The New Prosperity capital and operating cost estimates do not include key factors that will affect the economic viability of the project and share price volatility is likely to continue;
- Political support from provincial and federal governments for the New Prosperity Project is uncertain.
- The fierce opposition to this project from Aboriginal peoples and environmental organizations may result in lengthy litigation and could have implications for the future of other extraction projects in BC.
The New Prosperity Project represents 55% of the company’s reported net assets and is currently in the environmental assessment process. An earlier attempt to obtain environmental assessment approval for the Prosperity project was rejected by the federal government, and in February 2011, Taseko resubmitted the project with some changes under the name “New Prosperity”. A second environmental assessment is currently underway.
The proposed New Prosperity Project is on the traditional territory of the Tŝilhqot’in First Nation and the transmission line for the project will cross the traditional territories of a number of Secwepemc First Nation communities. All the affected First Nation governments as well as the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and Assembly of First Nations strongly oppose the mine.
MiningWatch will be sending its report to key analysts and shareholders in Taseko Mines Ltd. including the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board which CPP holds 1.4 million shares in Taseko worth approximately $4.1-million.
For more information:
Ramsey Hart, MiningWatch Canada: (613) 569-3439, ramsey [at] miningwatch.ca