Taseko fights for New Prosperity, files second judicial review application

Despite having been rejected by the federal government twice, Taseko Mines (TSX:TKO) isn’t giving up on its proposed $1.5 billion New Prosperity copper and gold project in British Columbia.

This week Taseko filed a second application for judicial review asking the Federal Court to nullify Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq’s rejection of New Prosperity.

In a statement sent out Wendesday, the company claims that the project was not evaluated “in a fair, open and transparent manner,” and that government officials held “inappropriate closed door meetings with opponents of the proposed mine without Taseko’s knowledge or informing the Company of the content of those meetings.”

“Taseko maintains it had a legitimate expectation that if any third‐party representations were made to the federal government concerning the project after the Panel Review was complete that Taseko would be afforded an opportunity to make responses to those submissions. The Company was never given that opportunity.”

CEO Russ Hallbauer said that going to court is the only “reasonable option” the company has.

Last October a review panel from Natural Resource Canada (NRCan) concluded that Taseko’s proposed mine would pose “several significant adverse environmental effects.” The panel’s assessment was sent to the federal Minister of the Environment to be used in deciding whether or not to approve the plans.

Taseko strongly objected to the panel’s findings, claiming that NRCan had made an ‘outrageous’ error when assessing the project.

According to the company, the panel based its report on a tailings storage facility design that did not correspond with what the miner actually proposes to use.

Shortly after the assessment was released Taseko filed a judicial review application to try and block the scathing report from being used in the federal review process. The latest application will address the government’s actual decision.

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