Taseko Mines' hopes were kept alive when the Minister of the Environment, Peter Kent, ordered the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to set up a panel to examine the company's New Prosperity copper-gold mine.
"The Minister of the Environment instructed the Agency to design a process that will thoroughly assess whether the proposal addresses the environmental effects identified in the environmental assessment of the original Prosperity project. He also directed the Agency to ensure that information obtained during the previous environmental assessment is used to the extent possible in order to ensure a timely decision," said the agency in a statement.
The review, which will include public hearings, are supposed to be wrapped up in a year.
Taseko submitted a revised mining plan after it was rejected by the same agency a year ago. The revised proposal was supported by Premier Christy Clark.
The Vancouver-based company took another run at developing the $1.5-billion project after the federal government rejected it last fall.
Taseko Mines estimates its proposed New Prosperity copper-gold mine, to built 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake, British Columbia, would generate $9.8 billion in tax revenues for the federal and BC government over the next 20 years.
Taseko says that the deposit is a gold-copper porphyry with a 1.0 billion tonne measured and indicated resource containing 5.3 billion pounds of copper and 13.3 million ounces of gold.
"At today's metal prices (US$1,000/ounce gold and US$3.15/pound copper) the project has a pre-tax net present value of C$3 billion and a 40% pre-tax internal rate of return," says the company.
The gold-copper project raised the ire of environmentalists and First Nations groups for the proposed destruction of a lake to be used as a tailings impoundment.