May 03, 2016 - 2:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - The company behind a proposed mine application is requesting a suspension of their environmental application in order to have enough time to respond to comments coming out of the public comment and review periods.
In a letter to the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office dated today, May 3, the company behind the proposed Ajax Mine requested a temporary suspension of the environmental application review period. Clyde Gillespie, a project manager for KGHM Mining Inc., says the mine’s proponent needs 30 to 60 additional days to respond to comments on the environmental application.
“We’ve received many comments from the technical working groups and we’re about to receive the comments from the public comment period,” he says. “It’s difficult to have enough resources to address the comments in the timeframe.”
Gillespie says the decision is with the assessment office, who will discuss the request with other stakeholders in the mine project. The mining company initially requested an adjusted schedule in late April. Gillespie says an adjusted schedule would mean a set number of days added to the schedule, while a suspension would end when certain targets are met.
The full environmental application was submitted Jan. 18 and was given an 180-day review period, including 75 days for public comment.
The federal and provincial assessment offices sent a letters to the mining company last week requesting more information about the proposed mine’s air quality impact. Gillespie says a response is being worked on now, but has no timeline for when it will be submitted.
The Stk’emlupsemc te Secwépemc Nation are currently holding a panel review of the mining application, which Gillespie is attending. He says the full-day meetings have gone well, and will continue until this Friday.
The proposed open-pit copper and gold mine adjacent to the city’s southwest border is currently in its environmental application review, which was set to wrap up this summer but could be extended if the temporary suspension is approved. After the review period is complete, the assessment offices will decide whether to reject the application, approve it, or request additional information before making an official decision.
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