KAMLOOPS – A campaign aimed at raising money to hire 'independent experts' to anaylze the upcoming KGHM Ajax Mine application received a donation from the proponent, but organizers have no intention of keeping that money.
The Indiegogo campaign ‘Help Stop the Ajax Mine’ received the donation late last week but organizers say they are rejecting what Ajax’s parent group KGHM called a 'no strings' $5,000 donation.
The campaign, which began last week, seeks $25,000 in funding to hire ‘independent experts’ to evaluate the Ajax mine’s official proposal.
The proposed open-pit copper-gold mine is set to be located just southwest of Kamloops and has garnered a lot of feedback, both positive and negative, over the past couple of years. Now, after several delays, the company is expected to submit its environmental application for the proposed mine this summer and the document is expected to be very lengthy and technical. KGHM promised to have it translated into ‘plain language’ accessible to laymans.
KGHM, at first, applauded the campaign’s efforts saying 'Ajax is dedicated to the most thorough study of our project and a careful examination by the Kamloops community.' They went on to say the company supports any third-party review.
It was in this spirit, KGHM says, it made the $5,000 donation which was promptly refused by the site’s administrators.
"It is a conflict of interest for us to accept funds directly from the proponent to be scrutinized by independent reviewers," Mary Kay Claydon says in speaking for the campaign.
She goes on to say administrators of the campaign are working with Indiegogo to refund the funds to KGHM. Claydon encourages those interested in a 'fair, independent review' to still donate.
"The reports to be 'scrutinized' will be the work of independent firms staffed by engineers, PhDs and scientists, many who answer to professional associations. Their reports will be further peer-reviewed," Robert Koopmans of KGHM says, via email, in response to being rebuffed.
He notes the company is confident the science will support the Ajax project.
The fundraising campaign has raised more than $13,000, even without the KGHM donation, in less than a week and is more than halfway to the $25,000 goal.
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