B.C. presses for Cariboo gold mine

Bill Bennett warns that more shutdowns are ahead in the B.C. Interior forest industry

An ore truck delivers a load at Taseko's Gibraltar copper mine.

Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett is in Ottawa Thursday to press for federal approval of the New Prosperity copper and gold mine proposed near Williams Lake.

Bennett spoke at a news conference organized by the B.C. Chamber of Commerce before leaving to meet with four federal ministers. He said the recent decision by Canfor Corp. to close its Quesnel sawmill in March is not the last of the bad news for the Cariboo-Chilcotin as the mountain pine beetle infestation takes its toll on the forest industry.

“Certainly the government if British Columbia is well aware that there is serious opposition to this project from the Tsilhqot’in people, and we respect that opposition,” Bennett said.

He said 37 per cent of B.C.’s mining royalties now go to First Nations through revenue sharing agreements, and there is more the province can do to work with the Tsilhqot’in communities that have fought against the Prosperity mine through two federal assessments.

Taseko Mines, which operates the nearby Gibraltar copper mine that is the region’s largest employer, revamped its design for Prosperity after it was rejected in the first federal review. After the second set of hearings, Taseko applied for a judicial review, saying the panel overlooked the use of a barrier in the mine tailings storage.

John Meech, a mine engineering professor at the University of B.C., said the new design not only protects nearby Fish Lake, but will enhance fish habitat.

“I base my assessment on a designed seepage rate that matches what is happening at two other mines in the region, Gibraltar and Mt. Polley, and anyone who tells you that the seepage rates are in error is not telling you the truth,” Meech said.

Ervin Charleyboy, former chief of the Alexis Creek First Nation, said he has been shunned by the current Tsilhqot’in chiefs for supporting the new mine design.

“I want a future for my grandkids,” Charleyboy said.

Tsilhqot’in leaders have appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada in their long-running case to have their traditional territory declared independent from B.C.

 

Just Posted

Sooke zoning bylaw debate devolves into tearful accusations

Mayor Maja Tait stresses bylaw is not about a single business

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Road win moves Wolverines into third place

Sooke squad heads to Nanaimo for weekend tournament

UPDATED: First Nation supporters march to Premier John Horgan’s MLA office in Langford

Upwards of 30 people moved across the West Shore Wednesday morning in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en

Giant rotating ice disk forms in Maine river

Ice disk that is roughly 100 yards wide has formed in the Presumpscot River

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Ratfish generates social media buzz on Vancouver Island

Boneless, glowing creature a common bycatch, but it usually stays in deep waters – fish expert

Tilray announces multimillion-dollar deal with U.S. marketing company

Nanaimo-based cannabis producer to partner with Authentic Brands Group

Environmental fixes needed over personal agendas

Re: CRD directors demand declaration of climate emergency (Online, Jan. 14) Sooke… Continue reading

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Pregnant B.C. firefighter tries to save own house that caught fire

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

Most Read