By Derrick Penner.
Taseko Mines has suspended plans for exploration work around its proposed New Prosperity copper-gold mine in the Cariboo Chilcotin in the face of legal disputes, a company official said.
The company took the step as the federal government, which has twice rejected the $1.3-billion mine proposal, filed an application in B.C. Supreme Court for an injunction seeking to formally block Taseko’s plans for additional geotechnical work at the project site.
“We’ve suspended the work related to the notice-of-work (plan),” said Brian Battison, vice-president of corporate affairs for Taseko, “and we advised (the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency) of that before their filing for an injunction.”
On July 14, Taseko was issued permits by a B.C. mines inspector authorizing a three-year work plan, which the company contends was to gather information related to its proposal for the New Prosperity project, about 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake.
The proposed work involved drilling 122 exploration holes, digging 357 test pits, the construction of 48 kilometres of new access trails, modifying 28 kilometres of existing trails, and establishing a 50-person work camp.
… On Monday, the judge hearing the Tsilhqot’in application adjourned the matter after Taseko agreed to suspend the work. Notwithstanding Taseko’s move, a Tsilhqot’in community chief welcomed the federal government’s move to file for an injunction.