Aberdeen residents may already be paying for the Ajax mine | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops News

Aberdeen residents may already be paying for the Ajax mine

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO

KAMLOOPS - A new study examining the potential impacts of the proposed Ajax mine has found property values in Aberdeen are likely to drop if the project is approved.

The report, comissioned by Aberdeen Neighbourhood Association, says the degree of loss in value will depend on how the mine impacts residents' quality of life and perceptions of risk to health, adding these findings are the result of looking at mines that have a large residential neighbourhood in close proximity to a mine the size of Ajax.

While some impacts to property values were expected once the project gets underway, what has come as a surprise to the consultant looking at Ajax is that Aberdeen residents have already seen an impact to their property value.

The study explains that compared to Juniper Ridge, a similar area of town in terms of real estate activity and value, Aberdeen has seen property values around $20,000 lower when looking at the sale of similar lots.

However, the report does say it is too soon to claim the Ajax proposal is the only and major contributor to this drop in value and further study is needed.

The president of the Aberdeen Neighbourhood Association Randy Sunderman says the findings were not surprising to him, and it gives more support to his group’s claim that some form of property value protection insurance should be required for the mine to be approved.

“We want certainty that as individual property owners we won’t be paying the price if something doesn’t work out,” he says. “And the way things are set up now, that burden is going to fall on residents.”

Sunderman says in the past the idea of this form of insurance has been put forward, but to this point KGHM has said they are not interested.

Another issue brought to light in the process of undertaking this study, according to Sunderman, is the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office's apparent unwillingness to ask the questions residents want answered.

He says the Neighbourhood Association sent a 108 page document to the Environmental Assessment’s Office complaining the mines being used for comparison by the province, in terms of potential economic impacts, were not similar enough to the Ajax proposal.

Sunderman says the reponse he has recieved from KGHM is they couldn’t find a similar mine. The consultant was able to find several similar mines that he used to make his findings, he says.

The study cost the Aberdeen Neighbourhood Association a little over $5,000.

Click here to read the full report.

Find past stories on the proposed Ajax mine here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Mike McDonald or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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