Tsilhqot’in seek injunction against Taseko drilling permit

First Nation wants leave to appeal to Supreme Court of Canada over New Prosperity mine

Company says mine lies outside territory Supreme Court of Canada confirmed to have Tsilhqot'in rights and title; Tsilquot'in argue previous court ruling confirms their rights extend to New Prosperity mine location.

The Tsilhqotin First Nation was back in court Friday, March 22, in the ongoing saga of the New Prosperity mine.

The Tsilhqot’in were before a BC Appeal Court Friday asking for an injunction against the drilling permit that the same court upheld earlier this month, while it seeks leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Earlier this month, the same court upheld an earlier lower court ruling that had upheld a drilling permit issued to Taseko Mines (TSX:TKO) by the provincial government.

The New Prosperity mine earned a provincial environmental certificate. But Canada’s environment minister has twice rejected its application for a federal certificate, effectively killing the project.

Taseko is still fighting the federal government in court, however. But in the meantime, the company says a provincial certificate has a sunset clause that requires a certain amount of drilling to occur, as part of its provincial environmental certificate. The provincial permit requires work on the mine to be substantially started before a 2020 expiration date.

When Taseko applied for a drilling permit, the province issued one. The Tsilhqot’in went to court to try to get it overturned, lost, and lost again on appeal when the BC Appeal court upheld the lower court decision.

So now the Tsilhqot’in are planning to appeal that decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. In the meantime, it is seeking a court injunction against the drilling.

It may be weeks before the court makes a decision on the application.

nbennett@biv.com

@nbennett_biv