The Williams Lake Tribune has quoted a former Tsi Del Del Nation chief saying he will not sit back and watch Vancouver-based Taseko Mines drain an Interior lake so that it can create a new mine.
“It will be over my dead body. ”¦I will not sit back any longer," Ervin Charleyboy told Taseko Mines vice president Brian Battison at a public hearing, according to the newspaper. "Like I said, I’ll be in your face and on your case every chance I get. Don’t you forget that, Mr. Battison. That’s not a threat either; that’s a promise.”
Last August, the Georgia Straight published a feature article, "Fight Looms Over Fish Lake", which described a plan by Taseko Mines to create Prosperity Mine 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake.
The company claims that the $800-million project would create 6,800-person years of employment and huge tax revenue for federal and provincial governments.
But there's a problem. It requires altering the hydrology to eliminate Fish Lake, which is home to an estimated 85,000 rainbow trout, and replacing it with an artificial body of water called Prosperity Lake. This has enraged aboriginal people in the area.
In a letter to the Straight last year, Battison explained it this way: "The reason Fish Lake must be compromised is that it sits immediately upstream of the mineral deposit. In order to extract the minerals in the most environmentally sound and responsible manner, Fish Lake must be partially drained. Having even a small body of water like Fish Lake perched above (upstream of) a mining operation simply presents too great a risk to worker safety and mine security."
Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.