New Prosperity Goldmine Fish Lake, BC, Canada


The New Prosperity mine project is among the 7th largest unexploited gold reserves in the world. The original plan by Vancouver based mining company, Taseko Mines Ltd., called Prosperity Mine entailed an open-pit mine that would have completely destroyed Fish Lake (Teztan Biny), a fish bearing lake in the Chilcotin. This lake has an estimated 85,000 rainbow trout of which around 4,500-5,000 are caught annually. The Tsilhqot tribe have also expressed the importance of the island in Fish Lake as a place of spiritual power and healing, where present-day and past generations of Tsilhqotin conduct ceremonies to receive their spiritual powers.

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Basic Data
NameNew Prosperity Goldmine Fish Lake, BC, Canada
ProvinceBritish Columbia
SiteWilliams Lake
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Mineral ore exploration
Tailings from mines
Specific Commodities
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe mine is an open pit mine with a 70,000 tpd concentrator facility with an average annual 108 million pounds of copper production and 247 thousand ounces of gold production over a 20 year mine life. The company projected the mine would create 550 direct jobs, generate $340 million in annual gross domestic product, and bring the government more than $1 billion in revenue over two decades of operations. The project is among the world's largest undeveloped gold-copper deposits. [1]

Project Area (in hectares)1700
Level of Investment (in USD)1000000000
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2010
Company Names or State EnterprisesTaseko Mines from Canada
Relevant government actorsFederal ministers of environment, fisheries and oceans, natural resources, transport, and Indian and northern affairs, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersThe Fish Lake Alliance, Friends of the Nemaiah Valley (FONV), The Tsilhqot in Nation, Wilderness Committee
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Recreational users
Canadian First Nations
Forms of MobilizationInvolvement of national and international NGOs
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseStrengthening of participation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project cancelled
Development of AlternativesLakes should not be used as Mine Waste Dumps. Recognition of aboriginal claims to land and sacred spaces. Reform of Canada’s federal environmental assessment.
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.The project has been rejected by a Federal Government panel on environmental grounds but the company may resubmit with a modified project.
Sources and Materials

Canadian Environmental Impact Assessment Act

amendment to Canadas Fisheries Act


Revised Project Description
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[1] Feds reject Taseko's New Prosperity Mine over environmental concerns
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Meta Information
ContributorLeah Temper
Last update19/05/2014