Vancouver miner vows to take whatever steps are necessary to put controversial British Columbia gold-copper mine into production.
Stockhouse bullboards were buzzing Monday following reports that Taseko Mines Ltd. (TSX: T.TKO, Stock Forum) has failed to secure a court injunction that would prevent protesters from blocking the road to its Prosperity gold-copper mine in British Columbia.
On December 2, the B.C. Supreme Court suspended two of Taseko’s work permits for a period of up to 90 days to allow time for the court to hear a judicial review brought forward by the Tsilhqot’in Nation. The judicial review challenges the adequacy of the consultation performed by the B.C. provincial government before the permits were issued.
On December 5, the first day of trading after the decision was released, shares of Taseko fell 3.3% to $2.95, giving the company a market cap of $576 million, based on 195.3 million shares outstanding. The stock trades in a 52-week range of $6.31 and $2.45.
One Stockhouse poster said he thought the Vancouver company should be doing more to try and ease the tension over the proposed Prosperity mine and the related jurisdictional issues.
“I am a shareholder and believe that First Nations deserve a piece of the action,’’ said EOIM in a Stockhouse post. “That is what they are looking for and [Taseko] management should get them on board through proper consultation.’’
EOIM went on to say that the net asset value of the company, the last time he read the presentation is more than $10, and yet the company is languishing below $3 because of all these uncertainties. “The court decision clearly shows that a provincial permit does not overrule aboriginal consultation,’’ he said.
But a nother poster sees last week’s court ruling as a temporary setback. “This news is a temporary hiccup and if anyone wants to sell me their shares because of it….thank you very much!’’ wrote fiddledee in another post, adding that Taseko’s share price does not take into account the value of Prosperity.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Christopher Grauer said that judicial review will have no immediate impact on the project. “The ore bed is not going anywhere,’’ he said, according to a report by The Canadian Press.
Xeni Gwet’in chief Marilyn Baptiste and others applied for a court injunction to stop exploration on the proposed mine, which is considered to be one of the largest undeveloped copper and gold sites in Canada. Xeni Gwet’in is one of six bands in the Tsilhqot’in Nation, and has led the group’s campaign against the project.
The proposed mine is located about 120 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake. It has been controversial because of Taseko’s earlier plan to use a nearby lake to store mine tailings. Last year, Ottawa rejected the development plan, largely on the basis of an environmental review that found that the project ( as it was then proposed) would result in significant adverse environmental affects.
For its part, Taseko said it will carefully review the latest B.C. Supreme Court ruling and then take whatever steps are deemed prudent to put the mine into production as soon as possible.