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Money La Feria Joonia

July 9, 2010

No matter what you call it, it’s called power. And the more you accrue the more hubris comes with it.

I don’t know this at all. I’m poor as fuck, but if literature is any kind of example of humanity there are more than enough stories of insane despots, Howard Hughes types, and the general characters of Dostoevsky novels and Shakespeare to show us how not to be godlike.

Flying right at the sun usually results in poor results and few casualties. I’ve also heard it’s better to burn out than fade away. Geeze, all of life is full of contradictions.

Anyways, I’ve been stuck on this Taseko Mines Ltd thing. For some reason building a better lake still sounds bad. So, 70,000 fish will die and they can make a better lake?

So I tuned into their live phone conference yesterday and listened to some Q and A and tried to record them verbatim. Here it is:

Prosperity Project
Conference Call & Webcast
Tuesday July 6 at 11:00 Eastern

When the Federal review panel of Taseko’s Prosperity Project July 2 and stock plummeted 20%. Taseko held a conference call to address the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

“Section 11 of the report, when looked at the conclusions there are 44 topics to which the panel drew conclusions. 24 of those dealt with environmental issues related to mining operations. The other 20 dealt with other aspects of the process.”

Russell goes on to reiterate the report as shown in section 11. Only the parts that suit Taseko mind you.
“The project would not result in significant adverse effects on surface water hydrology in the project area”
“… in significant adverse effects on surface water quality”
“…in significant adverse effect on fish in the Taseko river”
“Seepage from the cleaning facility would not result in a significant adverse affect on water quality in Bign Onion Lake.”
“The project would result in significant adverse in fish habitat in the Fish Creek Waters. This is the same conclusion as the BC government.”
“The project would not result in significant adverse effects on terrains and soils.”
“… on old growth forests nor on grasslands ecosystems.”
“… on mule deer and moose habitat.” He had trouble pronouncing moose.
“.. on migratory birds and their habitat.”
“emissions of particular matter from the project would not result in significant adverse effect.”The controbution of greenhouse gasses would not result in significant adverse effects. and light pollution from the project would not result in adverse effect.

“project related noise would not result in significant adverse effect.”

land and resource uses
“… on the forestry industry. Proposed mine site would result in locally significant adverse effect on users of the meadow within the Fish Creek watershed due to the loss of grazing lands. The project would not result in adverse effect on ranching and grazing along the transmission line corridor nor would it have an adverse effect on hunting in the region.”
… trapping in the region nor would it have an adverse effect on tourism and recreation in the region.but would have a significant adverse effect on the Taseko Lake Outfitter that are just down the road from us.”

Human Health
“The project would not result in significant adverse effect on human health in consuming fish, moose, and drinking water.”
… on community health services.”

The project… on biodiversity.”

“importantly, these findings are nearly identical to the conclusions reached by the British Columbia Environmental Assessment process.There were no surprises for us here except for the discussion on Grizzly and Grizzly bear habitat. And seeing how there is a hunting season in British Columbia for grizzly bears we are some kind of confused by the indications of the significant environmental impact associated with a future mining operation on grizzly bear population in that area although it is clearly stated that the mine itself would have no effect on the grizzly population”

“The real issue is the removal of Fish Lake during the mining operation. And the replacement of the lake with our proposed new lake. A proposal I might and the provincial government has accepted.”

“As second commentary the press has labelled this as controversial Taseko says that what should be controversial is that there have been a loss of 10,000 jobs in the forestry sector due to pine beetle infestation, that there is an unemployment rate of 20% among the Caribboo people, and that the loss of economic activity in the area has resulted in significant job loss.”

Taseko’s stance is that they will inject 1 billion into bc that is in a 4 billion dollar deficit and create jobs. There will be a 15 million compensation for the fish loss. Taseko does not ask for a single hand out for this project.

“This project is not controversial. The process is.”

I would now like to open the lines and have a discussion about we have just spoken about.

The first question asked to outline significant differences between fed and prov report. Taseko stands that the significant difference is in the grizzly bear population

The timeline is elaborated on
The federal government will hold a consultation with the affected First Nations groups and create a consultation report.That report and the panel report go to cabinet.  There is an additional report that will be created over the next 60 days. That is a report by the departments of Fisheries and Oceans, natural resources canada, and transport canada. that report will accompany the First Nation consultation report and the federal panel report. Those will go to cabinet and help inform their decision. Taseko says that the provincial report will also be submitted with those reports.

CAbinet will consider all of the factors and people involved.TAseko believes the information should be culled by September.
“We don’t expect the project to delay in any way because of its importance to the people.”
The expect a decision by late september or early october.

Caller 2 brought up the 100 commitments in the provincial report that Taseko has to perform to go ahead
TAseko says: There were 103 commitments that we are bound to as a condition of our permit.  Some are underway and the others relate to the operation of the mine.The federal panel has given them an additional 24 recommendations.

DFO is the department of fisheries and oceans

DFO identified risks and gaps. “the gap is a policy gap. whether our plan meets their no net loss policy. We are convinced that we  have put forward does meet their no net loss policy, on a productive capacity basis.”

Brian says:
The No Net Loss Policy, deals with the tailings facility.”which will cover up some meadows and some ephemeral streams. That habitat is going to be covered up by lake. DFO says that on 30 metres on each side of that stream you need to compensate for that. And in the calculation of how much of that habitat is covered by water, there is a shortfall in their opinion.
Our opinion however on a productive capacity basis, that is the amount of fish that are produced,that we meet the policy not on a metres per squared basis but on a productive capacity basis. And DFOs policy speaks to productive capacity as its main objective. So using DFOs previous calculations in other areas, with respect to productive capacity, we meet the No Net Loss policy. But on the measurement of the metres squared basis there is still a shortfall, and that’s the gap I talk about. So it will take some policy interpretation by the federal government to eliminate that gap.

Third Caller
The federal panel has remained neutral on the topic of prosperity lake. They did not make a “justification decision.” The provincial level gave a decision that says any environmental impact is outweighed by the economic benefits.

“Digging a big hole in the ground has a large environmental effect. It would be tough to argue that digging a large hole in the ground wouldn’t have a large environmental effect. It’s what you do around that hole and around those operations, and we’re please with the panel findings that conclude there will be no impact outside of the mine site.”

on the lake
“It’s just up stream of current Fish Lake.The current lake is in the early phases in the development of the mine and will be made available for public access, First Nations use, and other uses, outfitters etc. So that is one of the first features to be built. It will be this lake that will be slightly larger and slightly deeper and have a more robust fishery. A more attractive fishery than currently exists in Fish Lake.”

700 employees to build it at peak, for 2 years. And operating at 500 for 20 years.

“WE went to a firm that does all of the economic benefits for all of the provincial governments in Canada except for QC and NS.” The numbers the say are:

1.7 billion in revenue for the federal
3.4 billion in revenue for province

Caller 4

Treaty processes and rights
 it is a crown obligation and not theirs

Caller 5

Franco nevada deal

financially on track

Worst case is to go to the equity markets for 200 million.

“That would be the worst case.We don’t feel we have to go to the equity markets… there’s a whole realm of opportunities here with the other forms of financing available to us.”

Caller 6
 the cabinet can attach conditions to their approval, the panel has recommended conditions be attached to the approval.”

difference Kames process and prosperity

The Kames project need the approval of joint federal and provincial panels

Prosperity is a much larger project with far greater economic benefits to the province and to Canada

“Also there was no immediate community near Kames that could see and understand the value and benefits to them associated with the development of kames. Whereas in the Prosperity case, there is a significant community in Williams Lake and there are populations within the Cariboo, the vast majority of whom recognize the value and importance of this project to them, the community, and to the region.”

“Since 1993 we have been in the environmental process and since that time we have held environmental Consultations with First Nations. So consultations with First Nations date back to early 1990s. We have literally thousands of items of record of consultation effort on our part.

Caller 7

Has the panel gave a negative review to a project that was greenlighted. Taseko offered this analogy of a billion dollar bridge connecting to PEI. The cabinet decided it was in the public interest and decided in favour of the project.

Caller 8
 CAn you begin construction before any issues are resolved between the government and FN
“I think so. The provincial government has issued out mining “leaks” which is an interest in the land. And once we have the mine development permit completed in the next 60, 90 days then we will start reviewing our options in terms of what we have to do to advance the project. The feds are dealing with fish and fish habitat and the provincial government is dealing with everything else.” So as long as their are FN negotiations going on in the background then the mine can continue to be built.

Caller 9
Of the Three Scenarios of the placement of the tailings draining Fish Lake was the chosen path. The option to drain the lake came after considering two larger more expensive options.
“The overarching issue was the fact that we’d affect a number of other water sheds.” Fish lake was the most remote.
“This was the best option available to us in terms of the least affect on the overall environment.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. ename permalink
    July 10, 2010 5:07 am

    The fish, the fish, everybody worries about the damned fish. They restock lakes all the time usually because they’ve been fished out. WTF is the difference here?

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