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Bepple drops Ajax interests, questions blasting report

Coun. Nancy Bepple has dropped her ties with KGHM Ajax Mining Inc. and participated in her first council discussion about the proposed mine today.
July 31, 2013 - 7:01 AM

KAMLOOPS – Coun. Nancy Bepple announced today she no longer has a financial, or any other, interest in KGHM Ajax Mining Inc.

The discussion came up when Bepple announced she would be able to take part in discussions later in the meeting about a letter from the proponent meant to clarify some statistics provided earlier this year.

“I no longer have any pecuniary interest in Ajax,” Bepple told council adding she no longer has any personal ties or shares with the company.

Bepple was previously in a relationship with someone who had close ties to the mine. She recently sold her shares and she and her partner have since separated, leaving Bepple without any pecuniary interests in the mine.

Coun. Tina Lange offered a quick 'welcome back' before council continued and not much later Bepple was offering up her first contribution to Ajax discussions. She questioned whether there was any comparison of the test blasts to other types of vibrations near Kamloops, such as railways, jets and the other nearby mines. She said these comparisons would help people understand the impact of vibrations.

“These measurements, PPV, are not something people say, 'well that was a 10 PPV vibration today.'” Bepple said.

Two councillors openly opposed to the proposed mine—Lange and Coun. Donovan Cavers—once again questioned the information provided, calling the information in the letter vague and disappointing.

A letter from Golder Associates discussing air blasts was also questioned and though environmental services manager Jen Fretz was unable to provide a lot of detail about what would be done with the information in that letter she was able to explain why the letter was provided.

Concerns over air blasts were not being heard and finally the environmental assessment office said they wanted technical information as to why it should be included.

“It wasn't new information, just clarification on why we've been asking since July 2011 (for) this information to be included,” she said. “Golder came up with concerns based on (test blast) information. Golder portrayed questions it believes people will have.”

While the information has now been provided, Fretz is unsure of what will be done with the information.

“We're told the intent of what we're asking for will be in there, but that's up for debate right now," she said. “One would hope there would be that kind of detail.”

Mayor Peter Milobar also announced he has secured a meeting with several ministers to discuss the community concerns over the proposed mine and will be heading down to Vancouver for a brief meeting Wednesday afternoon.

He plans on updating ministers Mary Polak (environment), Bill Bennett (energy and mines) and Coralee Oakes (community, sport and cultural development) on the Ajax mine and the concerns of the community. He said he wants to ensure they fully understand the community concerns as well as the geography and topography of the city.

Milobar said it is important to get in front of the new ministers and ensure they fully understand the community concerns.

“The community needs to feel at ease,” Milobar said, adding he plans on once again ask for a full test blast to help deal with some of those concerns. “There are concerns, 'can a test blast accurately show what will happen?'”

He adds the situation is unique in that a large population already exists—it's not being built around an existing mine—and the community angst is something the ministers need to be aware of.

“They are very legitimate and real concerns, I share them,” Milobar said. “I just don't lay awake at night worried about (them.) I'm willing to let the process unfold.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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