The Federal Court of Canada has dismissed tandem judicial review applications filed by Taseko Mines over the national government’s rejection of the company’s $1.5bn New Prosperity open-pit copper-gold mine project near Williams Lake.
The decision comes after the proposed project was rejected twice by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, according to Business in Vancouver.
Taseko petitioned the court in relation to two judicial reviews, one against a decision by the Ministry of Environment and Governor in Council, and the other against a review panel report.
Yunesit’in chief and Tsilhqot’in National Government director Russell Myers Ross said: “In my opinion, these efforts by Taseko Mines represents a waste of time and public money, and I believe it is necessary for this company to move on from fantasising about this destructive project.
“This area remains significant to our nation and this conflict is one reason why we have moved towards developing the Dasiqox Tribal Park, to move towards a space of reconciliation, reciprocity, and consent.”
The mine project lies outside territory which was recognised as Tsilhqot’in territory by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2014.
Under the decision, an outright title was awarded to a portion of land to the Tsilhqot’in, while traditional rights to hunt, trap and catch wild horses in a larger territory were upheld.
The mine proposal was rejected due to concerns that a lake would need to be drained for the creation of tailings pond.
The environmental certificate for the project was rejected after the government determined that seepage from a tailings pond posed a greater danger and is likely to pose a larger threat to marine life in nearby waterways than the company estimated.