By LeRae Haynes
Taseko Mines Ltd received a letter dated July 6 from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency requesting further information on the latest draft for their proposed New Prosperity copper and gold mine---something that Brian Battison from Taseko Mines says is a ‘routine and expected’ part of the process.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment (CEA) letter, which includes more than 200 comments, states that, “Taseko is now to revise its Draft EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) in accordance with the comments provided, and submit a final EIS to the Review Panel.” It says that the Review Panel will assess that final draft to determine if it’s sufficient to proceed to public hearing.
Brian Battison from Taseko Mines Ltd said that the draft was never intended or expected to be final or complete. “It is basically a matter of ‘show us what you’ve got so far to make sure you’re on the right track,’” he stated. “The CEA provides us with comments to take into consideration before we do the final draft.”
He calls it an ‘administrative exchange of information.’
“This CEA letter is not an assessment of the plan, but is intended to provide them with sufficient information so they can comment on the adequacy of the methodology, and on the type of data and the level of detail with respect to the guidelines,” he explained.
There was no executive summary in the 1,345 page draft, but there were ‘place-holders’ where information will be inserted, according to Brian Battison. “These place-holders say what’s coming: tables where figures and data have not been finalized. It’s where we say, ‘in this table will be the conclusion around this topic or that topic.”
He explained that the recent letter from the CEA states that the information in Taseko’s draft is insufficient for an environment assessment. “This is both routine and expected, and when we finish our final draft it will include the information and clarification they’re looking for,” he noted. “It will be 1,500 pages with several thousand pages of appendixes.”
He said that now that they have the CEA comments and requests for information, Taseko is able to complete their work and prepare to submit the final document to the panel, moving them on to the public hearing stage.
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