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Fish Lake Alliance voices concerns about New Prosperity Mine project

To the editor:

A big thank-you goes to the Friends of Fish Lake for a very informative evening about the proposed open-pit mine at Fish Lake in the Chilcotin in 100 Mile House on Nov. 26.

It was helpful to hear first-hand from First Nations people who will have to live with the consequences of any major development on their land.

In the Dec. 5 edition of the Free Press, Len Doucette said there is “a lot more information” available on this subject. We certainly encourage everyone to consider all information, from scientific experts and the government, as well as the mining company.

We do not oppose all mining, but we do oppose poor environmental planning with questionable economic benefits.

We believe some important issues are:

The proposal includes a 35-storey dam to hold tailings and mine waste, upstream of Fish Lake. The mine would destroy about 80 per cent of spawning grounds for wild rainbow trout near Fish Lake, and ultimately contaminate Fish Lake.

A gigantic tailings pond, four kilometres by three km wide would drown traditional harvesting territory and aboriginal grave sites. The mine’s acid-generating waste is also a huge environmental risk.

Chief Marilyn Baptiste of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation expressed very strong concerns about the mine’s effects on traditional aboriginal life and her community. The Tsilhqot’in people have aboriginal rights to the area – proven in court.

Taseko Mines is having difficulty meeting the most basic requirements of the federal environmental review. The panel recently asked Taseko to correct a very large number of gaps and inconsistencies in the company’s latest Environmental Impact Statement. The 77-page list of deficiencies is available at www.ceaa.gc.ca/050/ (File #63928.)

The current mine plan essentially duplicates another option the company outlined to the first federal review panel. This plan has already been reviewed at taxpayers’ expense, and the panel agreed with the company that it was environmentally inferior to the one rejected in 2010.

We invite everyone to visit our website for links to scientific research and factual information about the proposed “New” Prosperity mine at www.fishlakealliance.ca.

 

Jenny Noble

Fish Lake Alliance

Williams Lake