A B.C. Supreme Court judge hearing injunctions from Taseko Mines Ltd. and the Tsilhqot’in National Government regarding exploratory drilling for a proposed mine project in the province’s Interior will not give her judgment until the first week of September.
Hearings concluded on Wednesday, July 31, to hear Taseko’s application for an injunction to prohibit the Tsilhqot’in Nation and others from interfering with its drilling program at Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) about 185 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake for its proposed New Prosperity Mine project.
The Tsilhqot’in injunction asked to stop the drilling program until there can be a full trial to establish the drilling would infringe upon proven Aboriginal rights.
Taseko has agreed to stand down on the drilling program aside from non-disruptive work such as surveying.
Calling it positive news, the Tsilhqot’in Nation said it will continue to fight to protect “sacred lands” at Teztan Biny and Nabas (Little Fish Lake).
In 2017, Taseko was given a permit to do the exploratory drilling and immediately the Tsilhqot’in Nation filed an injunction to prevent it.
It has been a back and forth battle in court since then as well as on July 1, the Nation set up a peaceful protest along Highway 20 at the entrance to Farwell Canyon Road to prevent Taseko contractors from hauling heavy equipment through to the drilling location.
Brian Battison, vice-president of corporate affairs for Taseko, said the company has no comment at this time.
The mine has been rejected through two Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency hearings in the past.