Taseko Drops After Canada Rejects Gold Project Again

Taseko Mines Ltd., a British Columbia base-metals miner, fell the most in a month after the Canadian government blocked development of its New Prosperity gold-and-copper project for a second time.

Taseko dropped 5.1 percent to C$2.25 at the close in Toronto, the biggest decline since Jan. 23. The shares have fallen 21 percent in the past 12 months.

Minister of the Environment Leona Aglukkaq concluded the proposed mine in British Columbia “is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects that cannot be mitigated,” the government said in a statement late yesterday. “Those effects are not justified in the circumstances; therefore, the project may not proceed.”

Taseko can submit another proposal that addresses the government’s concerns. The Vancouver-based company changed its development plan and reapplied after the Canadian government said in 2010 it wouldn’t approve the New Prosperity project because of concerns it would harm the environment. A federal environmental review panel said Nov. 1 the revised plan would result in “several significant environmental effects.”

The company “fundamentally disagrees” with the government’s decision, Taseko said today in a statement. It plans to proceed with a federal judicial review begun in December that challenges certain findings of the environmental review panel.

“Taseko will take the necessary steps to protect this valuable asset, but at the same time, will also look at other opportunities to increase shareholder value,” the company, which operates the Gibraltar mine in south-central British Columbia, said in the statement.

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