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Ajax Mine supporter event, protest planned for this week

March 16, 2015 - 1:20 PM


KAMLOOPS - As staff at the KGHM Ajax Mine office rush to finalize the environmental application for the proposed open pit copper-gold mine, those against the mine are planning a ‘peaceful protest’ outside a private supporters event this week.

The private event is being held for supporters of the project on Wednesday, March 18 at Thompson Rivers University. External Affairs Manager Yves Lacasse says it is a private, by-invitation event for supporters only. No media are being invited to attend.

Wednesday will also bring out those against the project, with organizers planning a ‘peaceful protest’ and discussion from 4-7 p.m. in front of the Campus Activity Centre at the university.

Organizers say the event will be a peaceful forum to educate and discuss the project and enjoy some live music and improv. The goal is to show ‘support for more transparency’ on the Ajax Mine project and to show support for ‘keeping Kamloops environmentally healthy’.

“This isn’t an anti-mine protest, this is to show our displeasure with half-truths and withheld information,” organizers note.

Meanwhile Lacasse says with studies starting to come in they are still on pace for a spring submission and will be focussed on reviewing the information internally and completing the necessary paperwork over the next couple months.

“We’re hoping to have everything on time to submit late in the spring,” Lacasse says. “It’s finally starting, there’s been a lot of discussion about submitting…. I think this is a good plan we have now (and) I’m excited to put our application in.”

A new footprint for the proposed mine was brought forward last spring and led to a second review of the application requirements. A series of open houses and information sessions was held by the province and KGHM last fall during the public input session to give people more information on the project and the application process.

Image Credit: Environmental Assessment Office

What happens next is up to the regulators, Lacasse notes, but a decision is expected some time in 2016. In the 30 days following the submission of the application it will be evaluated and then a 180-day review will begin. A decision is then made within 45 days as to whether the project is approved, not approved or needs further assessment.

For those still wanting more information about the project and what the mine site would look like, Lacasse says tours will run again this year once the ground has dried up. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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