September 21, 2015 - 11:56 AM
KAMLOOPS - You’re going to have to hold onto questions you have for KGHM International about the proposed Ajax Mine for a while yet. The mining company will not be hosting public information sessions until the mine’s application is publically released.
“The information sessions will happen in the 75-day comment period, which will start soon after the (environmental assessment) application is publicly released,” KGHM's Robert Koopmans says.
The mining company has also promised 'plain language summaries' of its environmental proposal, which will also be available when the application is publicly released. It will be at least a month before that happens.
KGHM has officially submitted the Ajax Mine’s environmental proposal to the province. The submission, announced Sept. 14, begins a 30-day review process where the application is evaluated for completeness. If it’s accepted the application will be publically released and proceed to the 180-day review stage where for 75 days, the public and groups like the City of Kamloops will be able to provide input.
The City of Kamloops announced its first public meeting will be held on Monday, Sept. 28 at the Coast Hotel. This is the first in a series of meetings and workshops planned by the city. Residents will have an opportunity to ask the city and the city’s consultant questions about the mine.
While the provincial and federal governments will ultimately decide whether a mine will be built on the outskirts of Kamloops, the city is still hiring its own consultant to look at Kamloops-specific concerns and assess the validity of technical information from the company. The estimated cost of the review will be about $300,000 and KGHM has sent a cheque to City Hall to cover those costs.
A First Nations group representing the Tk'emlups and Skeetchestn bands are also planning their own information sessions and subsequent reports.
A coalition of anti-Ajax groups started a crowdfunding campaign to hire their own independent experts to review the Ajax application. The coalition expressed concern with the City of Kamloops for accepting money from KGHM to fund its review.
The Ajax Mine is a proposed open-pit copper and gold mine planned just southwest of Kamloops.
The Environmental Assessment timeline. Currently the Ajax process sits in the last blue box "application evaluated for completeness."
Image Credit: Ministry of the Environment
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015