B.C. presses for Cariboo gold mine

Bill Bennett warns that more shutdowns are ahead in the B.C. Interior forest industry

An ore truck delivers a load at Taseko's Gibraltar copper mine.

Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett is in Ottawa Thursday to press for federal approval of the New Prosperity copper and gold mine proposed near Williams Lake.

Bennett spoke at a news conference organized by the B.C. Chamber of Commerce before leaving to meet with four federal ministers. He said the recent decision by Canfor Corp. to close its Quesnel sawmill in March is not the last of the bad news for the Cariboo-Chilcotin as the mountain pine beetle infestation takes its toll on the forest industry.

“Certainly the government if British Columbia is well aware that there is serious opposition to this project from the Tsilhqot’in people, and we respect that opposition,” Bennett said.

He said 37 per cent of B.C.’s mining royalties now go to First Nations through revenue sharing agreements, and there is more the province can do to work with the Tsilhqot’in communities that have fought against the Prosperity mine through two federal assessments.

Taseko Mines, which operates the nearby Gibraltar copper mine that is the region’s largest employer, revamped its design for Prosperity after it was rejected in the first federal review. After the second set of hearings, Taseko applied for a judicial review, saying the panel overlooked the use of a barrier in the mine tailings storage.

John Meech, a mine engineering professor at the University of B.C., said the new design not only protects nearby Fish Lake, but will enhance fish habitat.

“I base my assessment on a designed seepage rate that matches what is happening at two other mines in the region, Gibraltar and Mt. Polley, and anyone who tells you that the seepage rates are in error is not telling you the truth,” Meech said.

Ervin Charleyboy, former chief of the Alexis Creek First Nation, said he has been shunned by the current Tsilhqot’in chiefs for supporting the new mine design.

“I want a future for my grandkids,” Charleyboy said.

Tsilhqot’in leaders have appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada in their long-running case to have their traditional territory declared independent from B.C.

 

Just Posted

Oak Bay father charged with double murder takes the stand

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths of his two daughters

Ravens Crossing breaks ground on happy Hygge cohousing project

Speeches, music and a blessing as 80 people attend start of Danish-style development

Victoria contractors file civil claims for work on Sooke Tim Hortons, Petro Canada

Contractors file civil suits against Petromaxx, T’Sou-ke First Nation

PHOTOS: Water gun-toting kids of all ages storm Fort Rodd Hill

Aug. 17 event inspires soggy smiles all around

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Unsubstantiated’ bomb threat against CP Rail in Revelstoke

On Aug. 18, a bomb threat was made against CP Rail in Revelstoke

Coroner’s inquest into fatal police shooting in Port Hardy begins in Campbell River

James Reginald Butters, 24, killed in 2015 after RCMP responded to call of male uttering threats

New ‘Matrix’ film set with Keanu Reeves and Lana Wachowski

Fourth installment to feature Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity

Catholic church buys $7.5M equestrian facility in B.C., plans ‘agri-retreat’ centre

Church hopes to grow crops, host students and others on Bradner property

New regulations require training for B.C. addiction recovery homes

Inspections, standards replace ‘wild west,’ Judy Darcy says

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Most Read