Public comment period opens amid renewed push against Ajax Mine
By Jennifer Stahn
January 26, 2016 - 1:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - The public comment period officially begins today and in an effort to get people talking, one of the groups against the proposed mine has stepped up its efforts with a new video and a renewed social media push.
The Kamloops Physicians for a Healthy Environment has increased its presence on Facebook and also released a video this week with the theme of ‘Join us in defending Kamloops’. Pictured in the video are more than two dozen members against the proposed Ajax Mine, with a neurosurgeon JF Chevalier speaking against the project.
“Be imagining a mine of this magnitude, so close to a city of this size, just upwind on top of all that, not to have any significant consequences on the air quality in town. We all breathe that air,” Chevalier says in the video. “How can you imagine that blasting tonnes of rocks and burning thousands of litres of diesel will not have a damaging effect on the air we breathe.”
KGHM Ajax Mining submitted its environmental application earlier this month, along with plain language summaries. The summaries all show no significant impacts from modelling of the proposed open-pit copper and gold mine and the company is steadfast in its declaration it can operate without significant negative impacts on residents or the environment. The company has not responded to the latest video.
The project is now in the 180-day review period, and the 75-day public comment period officially began today, Jan. 26. The B.C. Environmental Assessment Office and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency are hosting public information sessions Feb. 16 to 17 and March 15 to 16. KGHM will have experts on hand at these meetings and is offering information sessions to local neighbourhood associations as well. Company representatives will also be before city council Tuesday to present the application.
The City of Kamloops is also planning information sessions to help guide its own review, before council makes a decision on whether to lend verbal support to the project or not. The physicians group, as part of a larger coalition against the mine, is also holding its own review of the application after raising more than $30,000 through a crowdfunding initiative.
After the 180-day period the government agencies will make a decision on whether to issue certification, request more information or deny the project.
To read more on the plain language summaries of the application, click here.
To read more on the proposed Ajax Mine, click here.
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