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Ajax would offer significant economic impact

The proposed Ajax mine at 25 years, shown in the 3D model released by the proponent as a Google Earth model.
Image Credit: SOURCE/Google Earth
March 05, 2014 - 4:22 PM

KAMLOOPS — Ajax mine will have a significant impact on the local economy if operational by 2018, according to a recent study commissioned by Venture Kamloops.

The study, released this week, shows Ajax Mine will directly employ almost 220 people and directly contribute $360,000 in municipal taxes annually once operational. During the design phase municipal taxes would be $36,000 directly though the construction phase. It's expected to take two years and would realize more than $1 million directly in municipal taxes and another $1 million indirectly for the city annually.

“We commissioned an economic impact study.... It's a broad ranging study that touches on 15 different sectors in the community,” Executive Director Jim Anderson says. “It gives us the ability to quantify.”

Economist Dr. Roslyn Kunin was commissioned for the study and says while Kamloops is strong in many areas there are things that could change the future economic balance of the city.

The proposed mine is one of three future scenarios the study looks at for forecasting the future economic health of the city. Twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline and a Domtar closure were also looked at.

The direct, indirect and induced tax base from the Ajax mine once it is operational will contribute $900,000 to municipal taxes and $8.1 million to provincial coffers annually. Federal taxes would amount to nearly $13 million directly and indirectly. Ajax would also contribute to a total of more than 670 jobs, many earning above average salaries in the range of $120,000 per year.

The loss of Domtar would have a great impact as well, with nearly 380 jobs and more than $6 million in municipal taxes lost if the mill was to close. Twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline would have a short term impact on the city, supporting about 1,000 jobs and contributing nearly $720,000 to municipal taxes directly, and another $530,000 indirectly.

While Coun. Tina Lange voiced concern over the potential environmental and health impacts of the Ajax mine and how that would play into the economic impacts, Kunin explained her job is simply to look at the basic economics.

“We just give you the economics, there's a whole other range of issues you have to be concerned with,” Kunin told council Tuesday morning. “If you don't have the economics right it's very hard to get anything else done. We need to do the balance, take all the factors we care about and see what is the price of doing the development.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email jstahn@infotelnews.ca or call (250)819-3723.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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