OTTAWA, July 2 /CNW Telbec/ - The federal Panel reviewing the proposed Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine project today announced that it is submitting its report and recommendations to the federal Minister of the Environment and to the Ministers of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Transport Canada and Natural Resources Canada. The report includes the conclusions, rationale and recommendations of the Panel.
The Panel has assessed the environmental effects of the project and matters relating to Aboriginal rights or title and has concluded that the project would result in significant adverse environmental effects on:
- Fish and fish habitat;
- Current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by First
Nations and on cultural heritage; and
- Certain potential or established Aboriginal rights or title.
The Panel also concluded that the project, in combination with past, present and reasonably foreseeable future projects would result in a significant adverse cumulative effect on:
- Grizzly bears in the South Chilcotin region; and
- Fish and fish habitat.
In addition, at the local level, the Panel has concluded that the project would have significant adverse effects on the users of the meadows within the Fish Creek watershed, on the Xeni Gwet'in / Sonny Lulua trapline and on Taseko Lake Outfitters.
As required in its terms of reference, the Panel has also provided information to assist decision makers in determining whether the project may be justified under the circumstances and has provided recommendations for the management of environmental effects should a decision be made to enable the project to proceed.
The report follows a public hearing held from March 22, 2010 to May 3, 2010 which began with general hearing sessions in Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and Alexis Creek, B.C. The Panel also held community hearing sessions in the communities of the Xeni Gwet'in (Nemiah Band), Yunesit'in (Stone Band), Tl'esqox (Toosey Band), Tsi Del Del (Redstone Band), Tl'etinqox (Anaham Band), Stswecem'c/Xgat'tem (Canoe Creek Band) and Esketemc (Alkali Lake Band). Topic-specific hearing sessions were also held in Williams Lake on alternative means of carrying out the project, water quality and quantity, fish and fish habitat, terrestrial ecosystem, and socio-economics.
During the public hearing, the Panel received submissions and heard presentations from the proponent, First Nations, federal government agencies, local government, environmental groups, individuals and organizations interested in the potential effects of the project.
The Panel report, including the executive summary, is available at www.prosperityreviewpanel.com . The executive summary in both official languages is also available on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry at www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca , registry number 09-05-44811.
The proponent, Taseko Mines Limited is proposing to develop an open-pit gold-copper mine located 125 km southwest of Williams Lake, B.C. The proposed project also includes tailings and waste rock areas, an onsite mill, an approximately 125-km long power transmission line corridor and an access road.
The Panel is an independent body, appointed by the federal Minister of the Environment to assess the environmental effects of the proposed project. The Panel was appointed in January 2009 and its Terms of Reference provide details as to how the review was to be conducted and the specified time frame.
SOURCE Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
For further information: For further information: Media may contact: Lucille Jamault, Manager, Communications, Federal Review Panel for the Prosperity Project, Tel.: 613-957-0434, cell: 613-552-5253