Taseko says New Prosperity Mine would pour $9.8B into gov’t coffers

Taseko Mines (TSE:TKO) estimates its proposed New Prosperity copper-gold mine would generate $9.8 billion in tax revenues for the federal and BC government over the next 20 years.

The Vancouver-based company is taking another run at developing the $1.5-billion project after the federal government rejected it last fall.

The gold- copper project in northern British Columbia raised the ire of environmentalists and First Nations groups for the proposed destruction of a lake to be used as a tailings impoundment. A provincial environmental assessment process had approved the project, but the federal government’s own review rejected it last November.

Taseko says its revised plan includes an additional $300 million in capital investment to limit the mine’s environmental impact, notably the preservation of Fish Lake.

An economic analysis of the $1.5 billion project was released Tuesday, starting with construction  in 2013 and ending with mine closure in 2036. The proposed open-pit mine near Williams Lake would have a 20-year mine life and produce up to 70,000 tonnes of ore per day.

According to Taseko, the study says the mine would boost federal government revenues by $4.3 billion and increase the provincial treasury by an additional $5.5 billion.

But the study isn’t sitting well with opponents who say the revised plan does not go far enough in protecting salmon, wildlife populations and local First Nations communities.

Native groups opposed to the mine are suggesting that if the mine goes ahead, they may sour on all the province’s plans for mining development across BC, MINING.com reported:

At a news conference in Ottawa (Tuesday), the fate of more than Taseko’s project was put into play. Reuters reports that Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, said that if Ottawa and the province were to approve the Prosperity mine, the governments would be sacrificing mine development across the province.

Last month, Premier Christie Clark said her government plans to capitalize on high demand for minerals, especially in Asia, by opening up eight new mines in the next four years and expanding nine more by 2015.





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