On May 9, 2012 the federal Minister of Environment announced the establishment of a three-member Review Panel for the New Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine Project. The panel is established pursuant to s. 33 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (“CEAA”), and its Terms of Reference are posted on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s website. The Terms of Reference set out the scope of the project under review, the scope of the assessment under CEAA, the mandate of the Review Panel, and certain aspects of the assessment process, including timelines.
The New Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine Project, proposed by Taseko Mines Limited, is located 125 km southwest of Williams Lake, British Columbia. Taseko’s previous mine development proposal for Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine underwent both a provincial environmental assessment and a federal environmental assessment. Although the previous proposal received a provincial Environmental Assessment Certificate, the federal government refused to grant approval, concluding that aspects of that proposal would result in significant adverse environmental effects. Taseko has adjusted its plans in a number of ways, including preserving Fish Lake by configuring the project not to use Fish Lake for tailings disposal.