June 10, 2013 - 2:54 PM
KAMLOOPS - After two years of collecting comments from working groups, the community and First Nations groups KGHM Ajax has approval for the list of topics to be addressed in the environmental assessment application.
The 200 page application information requirements document talks about what will be included in the assessment application, including the proposed project and the assessment process. Potential environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects, as well as the proposed management plans are all to be addressed. KGHM has also plans to include summaries of residual effects and company commitments.
The B.C. Environmental Assessment Office and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency both gave their stamp of approval on the requirements document last week. While this is one step forward for the proposed mine it is not an approval of the mine, just of the documentation KGHM must provide before the mine could be approved.
The company still expects to submit the assessment application this fall. A six month review period will then be held during which the City of Kamloops plans on holding an information session with all the available information. After the public information session city council will then make a formal declaration as to their support or non-support of the project.
Opponents of the mine formed an advisory group in April due to growing concern the environmental assessment process is not fair, rigorous nor comprehensive. The group, which has bee participating in the assessment process, was unable to provide details about what had been taking place in the meetings but says an independent health assessment and a review panel are necessary to ensure everyone gets a chance to be heard and to ask questions of the proponent.
Since then KGHM Ajax has tried to be more open, responding to a 2011 letter from the city outlining several questions and concerns and providing a 3-D Google Earth model for people to view what the mine will look like at different stages of growth.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013