Supreme Court rejects Tsilhqot'in appeal in Taseko mine case

The Tsilhqot’in Nation says it will continue to protect what it considers a sacred lake in the central Interior despite a blow from Canada’s top court.

The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal of a B.C .court ruling allowing Taseko Mine Limited (TML) to proceed with exploratory drilling around Fish Lake — also known as Teztan Biny.

The permit allows TML to proceed with an extensive drilling project that authorizes 76 kilometres of new or modified road and trail to be cleared, along with 122 drill holes, 367 excavated test pits and 20 kilometres of seismic lines near Teztan Biny.

TML has said the drilling is an attempt to prove the lake will not be harmed by a gold and copper mine west of Williams Lake that was approved by the province in 2010, but twice rejected by the federal government.

Chief Joe Alphonse says government and industry cannot be allowed to devastate a place of such spiritual importance, simply for the pursuit of gold.

The Tsilhqot’in also asked B.C.’s NDP government to live up to its commitments to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by preventing the violation of human rights it says is caused by mining exploration at Teztan Biny.  

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