Tŝilhqot’in, Taseko, Province work to resolve mine disputeDecember 19, 2019
The Tŝilhqot’in Nation and Taseko Mines are working with the B.C. government to reach a resolution to the long-standing conflict over the proposed New Prosperity gold-copper mine project southwest of Williams Lake.
The Nation and the company have agreed to pause certain litigation and regulatory matters related to the project while discussions are underway to reach a long-term solution. The Province has been asked to facilitate this dialogue. The details of this process are confidential.
To support the discussions, the Province has agreed to consider a request from the Tŝilhqot’in Nation and Taseko Mines to extend the project’s current environmental assessment certificate for one year, while the parties work toward a resolution. By request of the parties, the BC Environmental Assessment Office has placed Taseko’s application to amend the current environmental assessment certificate in abeyance.
All parties involved in the process acknowledge Taseko’s commercial interests and the opposition of the Tŝilhqot’in Nation to the project.
The proposed New Prosperity project has been the subject of ongoing litigation over several years. The location is within Tŝilhqot’in territory, outside of the declared title area designated in the landmark 2014 Tsilhqot’in Supreme Court of Canada decision, but within the area of proven Aboriginal rights to hunt, trap and trade.
- Taseko obtained a provincial environmental assessment certificate in January 2010, which was extended for a further five years in 2015.
- Federal approvals sought in 2010 and 2014 were not granted, due to concerns about environmental effects.
- Taseko was issued a provincial permit to conduct exploratory work at the site in July 2017 under the Mines Act and Mineral Tenure Act. A federal environmental assessment certificate is not required to conduct exploratory work.