VANCOUVER – Taseko Mines Ltd. (TSX:TKO) estimates its proposed New Prosperity gold and copper mine in British Columbia would generate $9.8 billion in revenue for the federal and B.C. governments over 20 years.
The estimate is part of an economic analysis commissioned by the company as it attempts to revive a $1.1-billion mining project that was blocked last year by former environment minister Jim Prentice, just before he left federal politics.
The Vancouver-based company said it commissioned the economic study by the Centre for Spatial Economics, which Taseko said has developed models for the federal department of finance.
The study estimates the federal government coffers would add $4.3 billion and the B.C. government would gain $5.52 billion over two decades if the mine is built.
Taseko also said the proposed mine would address the concerns raised by Ottawa in the environmental assessment and contribute $11 billion to the economy between 2013, when construction would begin, and 2036 when the mine closes.
The company revised plan includes $300 million additional spending to limit the mine’s environmental impact, particularly the preservation of Fish Lake.
Prentice, who has since become vice-chairman at CIBC, denied approval for the mine in November last year due to the critical environmental assessment.
The report said the mine would destroy Fish Lake, damage dozens of streams and have an adverse impact on the grizzly bear population. Prentice said at the time that Taseko should revise its plan and try again.
The project, 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake, B.C., has been divisive, with its supporters arguing that it would be an invaluable economic engine for region and its detractors upset over the impact on habitat and First Nations communities.
Taseko president and chief executive Russell said Tuesday that the new mine “offers significant benefit for people, including First Nations — new jobs, new opportunities for business and new revenues for governments, all of which will boost the economy and help fund essential public service.”