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Canada Blocks Taseko’s Prosperity Mine on Environment

Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Canada said it won’t allow Taseko Mines Ltd. to proceed with its Prosperity gold and copper project in British Columbia project under its current plan because it would cause too much damage to the environment.

“The government of Canada has not granted authorization for the Prosperity project due to concerns about the significant adverse environmental effects of the project as proposed,” Prentice told reporters outside Parliament in Ottawa today. The minister said the company can propose a revised project.

Taseko wanted federal approval to develop its Prosperity deposit, 125 kilometers (78 miles) southwest of Williams Lake. The project would harm fish habitat, navigation and land use by Indian groups, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency panel said in recommendations to the government posted on the agency’s website in July.

“Our next steps will be discussions with both the federal and provincial governments to look at options so that this mining project can move forward and meet the criteria that the federal government deems appropriate,” Russell Hallbauer, Taseko’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Taseko plunged $1.81, or 28 percent, to $4.67 at 5:26 p.m. after the close of regular New York Stock Exchange trading. The shares had risen 54 percent this year through today’s close.

Prentice also said the government approved Thompson Creek Metals Co.’s Mt. Milligan copper and gold project near Prince George, British Columbia.

Prentice said the Mt. Milligan mine should serve as a model to other companies seeking approval under the country’s environmental process.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexandre Deslongchamps in Ottawa at adeslongcham@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net; David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net.

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