Taseko Mines sues Canada for blocking $1.5bn New Prosperity project

14 February 2016 (Last Updated February 14th, 2016 18:30)

Taseko Mines has filed a lawsuit in the BC Supreme Court, seeking damages from the Canadian federal government for blocking the $1.5bn New Prosperity project.

Taseko Mines has filed a lawsuit in the BC Supreme Court, seeking damages from the Canadian federal government for blocking the $1.5bn New Prosperity project.

New Prosperity is a gold-copper deposit located in the Cariboo region of British Columbia, Canada.

Taseko's lawsuit claims that the Government of Canada and its agents failed to meet the legal duties that were owed to the company.

"We have no other choice but to defend the interests of our shareholders and to protect their assets."

The company also said that the government's decision caused damages, expenses and losses.

Taseko president and CEO Russell Hallbauer said: "Given the conduct of the Government of Canada and its agents, we have no other choice but to defend the interests of our shareholders and to protect their assets."

In its notice, Taseko said that the proposed project, which will be located 125km south-west of Williams Lake, would provide about 550 direct jobs and 1,280 indirect jobs, in addition to generating average annual increases of $459m to the provincial gross domestic product.

The company invested more than $130m to develop the project to date, which is in an area where the courts have rejected a Tsilhqot'in Nation claim to an indigenous title.

The company alleged that the project was seized without compensation after a federal cabinet decision in February 2014 made its mineral rights worthless.

New Prosperity has a one billion tonnes measured and indicated resource containing 5.3 billion pounds of copper and 13.3 million ounces of gold.