Taseko's second turn at prosperity still not good enough for environmental regulators
An environmental study into Taseko’s (TSX:TKO) billion-dollar New Prosperity mine proposal in British Columbia, Canada, revealed it would pose "several significant adverse environmental effects".
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency report, released late Thursday, said the company underestimated the volume of water that would leave a tailings storage facility and there was "considerable uncertainty" regarding Taseko's contingency plan for water treatment.
Taseko, which has been trying to develop New Prosperity for seven years, said in a statement Friday it will challenge the federal government’s findings because “they contradict best practices in place around the world today and expert opinion and analysis.”
While the panel made no recommendations as to whether or not the project should proceed and said the final decision will be up to the federal government, the panel said the project would result in adverse environmental effects.
Taseko noted that the panel is not a decision making authority. The panel report is information for the Federal evironment minister and it will be considered along with other information upon which the federal government will base its decision.
The company announced a second bid for favourable environmental assessment from the feds prosperity after its initial plan was rejected in 2011.
The Prosperity deposit is a gold-copper porphyry with a one billion tonne measured and indicated resource containing 5.3 billion pounds of copper and 13.3 million ounces of gold.
At metal prices of 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.
A report from two years ago estimated that Prosperity would generate $9.8 billion in tax revenues for the federal and BC government over the next 20 years.
Environmental assessment took 24 months.
On Wednesday Taseko reported a profit rise of $12.9 million to $19.5 million due to 30% rise in copper production.