The British Columbia Securities Commission Wednesday found no basis to take regulatory action in the alleged government leak of confidential information reportedly causing Taseko Mines stock to plunge 32% in one day on October 14, 2010, more than two weeks before Canada’s environmental minister said he would block Taseko’s Prosperity project.
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada had referred the matter to the B.C. Securities Commission after concerns developed whether leaks in Ottawa triggered a share sell off more than two weeks before Nov. 2 announcement by the federal government that the Prosperity gold and copper project near Williams Lake would not be approved.
About 27 million Taseko (TSX: TKO; NYSE Amex: TGB) shares changed hands on Oct. 14, 2010, compared with an average daily volume of about five million shares.
In January 2010 a B.C. provincial review process had endorsed the project, noting its jobs, spin-off benefits and millions of dollar in tax revenue for regional and provincial governments. However, in July a federal advisory panel found the project would have significant impacts on fish habitat, as well as impact grizzly bears.
The Prosperity project is believed to have proven and probable reserves of 7.7 million ounces of gold and 3.6 billion pounds of copper. The measured and indicated resource (including proven and probable reserves) contains 5.3 billion pounds of copper and 13.3 million ounces of gold.
In February of this year Taseko submitted a revised Prosperity proposal to the federal government which the company said “greatly reduces environmental impacts, preserves Fish Lake and its aquatics, and enables all mine operations and related components to be contained within one single watershed, a beneficial feature of the original design.”