VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 27, 2014) - It was with great disappointment that the Mining Association of BC received the news that the federal government denied Taseko Mines Limited's authorization to proceed with permitting the New Prosperity Project - a proposal to build a mine near Williams Lake, BC.
The decision from the Federal Minister of Environment came following a panel review process that has raised many questions. "The decision today highlights concerns with the panel review process and it affects Canada's reputation as a safe jurisdiction in which to invest," stated Karina Briño, President and CEO of the Mining Association of BC.
"It is important to note that Environmental Assessment is the first step in a rigorous process that requires other regulatory authorizations including mine and effluent permitting to be acquired," explained Angela Waterman, Vice President of Environment and Technical Affairs.
The proposed mine represents a capital investment of $1.5 billion to the region and 550 well-paying permanent jobs, as well as 700 construction jobs and 1280 indirect jobs. "While we believe that the opportunity represented by this project is in the interest of all British Columbians, it is extremely important to the Cariboo-Chilcotin region of the province," stated Briño. "This is a sad day for the mining industry in BC as it counters the emphasis on job creation and economic growth that we strive for."
"The project represents a generational opportunity for the local residents; providing long term, well paying, community supporting jobs in an area devastated by the mountain pine beetle epidemic's impact on the forestry industry," continued Briño. "As the largest private sector employer of First Nations in BC, mining represents significant potential for Aboriginal youth in the Cariboo-Chicotin, offering high quality jobs close to home for Williams Lake and surround communities. It is a missed opportunity for the people and province of BC," concluded Briño.