BC pushes feds to OK Taseko mine

Bill Bennett

Credits: Carmine Marinelli/Vancouver 24hours/QMI Agency


OTTAWA — B.C. Mines Minister Bill Bennett is set to meet with three federal ministers in Ottawa Thursday to convince them the proposed New Prosperity gold-copper mine project is vital to his province's economy.

Bennett is quoted as saying he'd lobby the federal government to approve the central B.C. mine, but his efforts may fall on deaf ears.

"We will discuss issues of mutual interest for the governments of Canada and British Columbia," said Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver in an e-mail. "Because Taseko's New Prosperity mine project is being litigated, I cannot comment on it in public or in private at this time."

A federal environmental assessment recommended against approving the mine for fear of water pollution.

Taseko said the study was flawed and is challenging it in court.

Bennett is also expected to see the labour and aboriginal affairs ministers.

Ultimately, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq will decide if the project proceeds.

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