September 14, 2015 - 10:53 AM
KAMLOOPS - The proposed Ajax Mine has taken another step forward by officially submitting an environmental application to the province.
The proposed open-pit copper and gold mine, planned for just southwest of Kamloops, has been before the Environmental Assessment Office since the pre-application was submitted in February 2011. The company announced today, Sept. 14, that it had officially taken the next step by submitting the environmental application.
The application will be reviewed for completeness over the next 30 days and, if accepted, it will proceed to the 180-day review stage where the public and groups like the City of Kamloops will be able to provide input.
The 18,000-page document outlines the environmental impact of the mine and KGHM’s plans to alleviate these impacts. Based on previously accepted application information guidelines, there are multiple chapters of the report focusing environmental concerns including water and air quality and general public health.
The application also includes issues of Aboriginal land claims and title. The Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation, which represents members of the Tk’emlúps and Skeetchestn Indian Bands, will be holding their own information sessions as part of their assessment process. In a release today, the group says its assessment process will include a review panel of chief and councils, family representatives, elders, youth and knowledge keepers. The group plans to forward a decision package to the assessment office as well.
KGHM promised to release ‘plain language summaries’ of the application for the public. These will be available on a dedicated web platform at the beginning of the public comment period. KGHM is also promising fact sheets and question and answer documents on its website. The company will also host several open houses during the public comment period.
The City of Kamloops is planning to conduct its own independent review and will host public consultations as part of that process. KGHM recently agreed to finance this review.
An anti-Ajax coalition is also planning to conduct its own third party review with independent experts. The coalition, made up of five anti-Ajax groups, used a crowdfunding campaign to fund its review. The campaign raised more than $30,000.
The B.C. environmental application process timeline.
Image Credit: Ministry of the Environment
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015