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Federal review panel rejects Prosperity mine proposal

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has warned of "significant adverse environmental effects" from the Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine project. The project would turn Fish Lake into a tailings pond.

In a news release posted on its website, the CEAA detailed those effects:

The Panel has assessed the environmental effects of the project and matters relating to Aboriginal rights or title and has concluded that the project would result in significant adverse environmental effects on:

•Fish and fish habitat;


•Current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by First Nations and on cultural heritage; and

•Certain potential or established Aboriginal rights or title.

The Panel also concluded that the project, in combination with past, present and reasonably foreseeable future projects would result in a significant adverse cumulative effect on:

•Grizzly bears in the South Chilcotin region; and

•Fish and fish habitat.

In addition, at the local level, the Panel has concluded that the project would have significant adverse effects on the users of the meadows within the Fish Creek watershed, on the Xeni Gwet'in / Sonny Lulua trapline and on Taseko Lake Outfitters.

The panel's full report and executive summary are available here.

The release also points out that the panel's conclusions may be overridden by the federal government:

As required in its terms of reference, the Panel has also provided information to assist decision makers in determining whether the project may be justified under the circumstances and has provided recommendations for the management of environmental effects should a decision be made to enable the project to proceed.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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