BiV – Taseko fires back at feds over controversial mine permit. Taseko questions timing, motivation and legal authority of federal environment agency.

By Nelson Bennett.

Taseko Mines (TSX:TKO) is firing back at the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA), saying it overstepped its authority when it issued what amounts to a cease-and-desist order on geotechnical work permitted by the province on its New Prosperity mine.

It is also questioning the federal agency’s timing and motivations in issuing the order, since the CEAA was aware of the drilling permit application since February, but said nothing until just three days before the Tsilhqot’in First Nation planned to be in court seeking an injunction.

The company also suggests that all mineral exploration in Canada could be at risk, since the CEAA seems to be suggesting that even the most preliminary types of exploration activity would need a full federal environmental review before work could begin. The company’s proposed New Prosperity gold-copper mine has a provincial environmental certificate, but not a federal certificate from the CEAA, which has twice rejected the mine.

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