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VANCOUVER - The Tsilhqot’in Nation is again facing off in BC Supreme Court against Taseko Mines over its proposed open-pit gold and copper mine. The community wants to stop Taseko's injunction application and permits issued by the BC Government for exploration near Fish Lake (Teztan Biny).
Hearings started this morning in Vancouver and are expected to take most of the week. Supporters were on hand outside the courthouse, including representatives of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.
Three weeks ago, Taseko Mines was asked to leave the territory near Williams Lake and to "halt its plans for extensive road-building, drilling, excavation of test pits, and timber clearing in support of its unprecedented and controversial resubmitted bid for approval of its soundly rejected Prosperity Mine project."
Taseko was turned down by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency a year ago. It then resubmitted a proposal for a $1.5-billion "New Prosperity" mine. The company is in court trying to ban the community from blocking the road into the proposed mine site.
Taseko cliams it won't drain Teztan Biny under the new plan, but tailing ponds would still destroy bodies of water that feed the lake. "Fish Lake will still be on life support and die a slower death" said Chief Marilyn Baptiste of the Xeni Gwet’in, one of six Tsilhqot’in communities.