Court upholds decision to block Taseko mine near Williams Lake

The Globe and Mail


A Federal Court judge has ruled against a contentious mine proposal in central British Columbia, upholding Ottawa's decision to reject the project over concerns it would adversely affect the environment.

A pair of decisions, released this week, mark the latest blow for Taseko Mines Ltd.'s New Prosperity mine, which is opposed by local First Nations, has been rejected twice by the federal government and has been the subject of years of litigation. The company says it's reviewing the court decision.

The New Prosperity project is a proposed open-pit copper and gold mine located 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake, B.C., near the Xeni Gwet'in First Nation community, part of the Tsilhqot'in Nation.

While the project received the approval of the former B.C. Liberal government, the federal government under the Conservatives rejected it twice, most recently in 2014. Among the concerns was the impact on Fish Lake, which the Tsilhqot'in National Government considers a sacred site.

Taseko challenged that decision, as well as the findings of a federal environmental assessment report, but lost on both fronts. The Federal Court judgment concludes the process was fair.


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