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CONTRIBUTION · 23rd July 2012
Richard Gilbert
Draft documents for billion dollar mine missing key info

Taseko Mines' draft environmental document for the construction of a proposed billion dollar gold-copper mine in central B.C. is missing critical information and full of errors and inaccuracies, which is no surprise to Aboriginal groups.

“We have said all along that there was no way this plan could work,” said Tsilhqot’in Nation Tribal Chair Chief Joe Alphonse. “They should be embarrassed that they handed in a document like this – they are making a mockery out of the entire Environmental Assessment process as well as all other mining companies. They should be penalized for such flippant actions.”

The draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was submitted for the New Prosperity Copper-Gold project.

It was recently reviewed by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) in consultation with six federal departments.

The 40 page review said the draft EIS failed to provide adequate information relating to the project’s impact on the local environment and Aboriginal rights.

It also said the document contained numerous errors, inaccuracies and misleading statements.

“The reviewers identified sections in the draft EIS where information specified in the EIS Guidelines is missing, presented in insufficient detail to enable a determination of the potential environmental effects of the project and/or presented using methodologies that would also preclude such a determination,” said Lisa Walls, director with the CEAA Pacific and Yukon Region in a letter to Taseko Mines dated July 6.

For example, many sub-sections of the draft EIS, which are central to the environmental assessment, such as water quality and fish habitat were left blank.

“As a result, the reviewers were unable to provide any comments on the completeness or adequacy of information and analyses pertaining to those aspects,” said Walls.

In response to the CEAA’s harsh criticism of the draft EIS, a spokesperson for Taseko Mines said the omissions are part of the environmental assessment process.

Read the Rest from the Journal of Commerce Here

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