October 12, 2014 - 10:29 AM
KAMLOOPS - KGHM Ajax Mining has been offering tours of the mine site on the outskirts of Kamloops for a few years already, but the tour changed slightly with the release of a new footprint earlier this year.
The tour meets at the Inks Lake overpass and were the group takes a bus along the Old Haul Road, stopping at Jacko Lake. Tour guide Kym Behrns, who has been leading the tours for all three years, notes the manmade lake is popular with fishing enthusiasts.
"It’s not a spawning lake, but they do stalk it on a regular basis and I don’t think I’ve ever been out here when I haven’t seen someone fishing," Behrns notes. "It is a very popular spot. it’s close to the city and it’s one of first lakes for ice to come off in spring.”
Behrns also spoke about the change in the plans. Now only one haul road will come in contact with the Kamloops city boundary, the rest of the mine facilities will be located outside of city limits. Jacko Lake will have to be dammed off to move the Kinder Morgan pipeline and to divert the Peterson Creek waterway around the open pit area.
At the far end of where the proposed open pit will be, and where the former pit remains, the tour bus stops and the group gets out to look at the land south of Kamloops where the company is planning to build its mining facilities. From where the tour group stands, which will be the northeastern part of the open pit, you can see Coal Hill tower to the north and Goose Lake Road to the south. Visual props are provided to help show where different facilities will be located in comparison to what cancurrently been seen.
The highest point of the former pit will become the highest point of the Ajax open pit. The plan is to have a pit that is 450 metres deep, far below where the tour group stands.
While much of the information provided in the hour-long tour is available on the KGHM Ajax Mine website, the tour gives a feel for what the company has planned for the land and how the land will look if the mine becomes operational. Tours continue twice per week through the fall as weather permits.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014