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Kamloops News

Community association says KGHM denied meeting

John Schleiermacher says KGHM Ajax Mining is not willing to attend a meeting with the Aberdeen Community Association to discuss the proposed open pit mine.


KAMLOOPS – Aberdeen residents frustrated by an invitation to meet with KGHM Ajax Mining in small groups have banded together to ask for a larger meeting with the entire community association, but to no avail.

Some residents received letters last month asking to meet in small groups with KGHM, according to Kamloops Area Preservation Association spokesperson John Schleiermacher, and many were not planning on attending the closed sessions because of concern over how past workshops were structured.

“Many that attended the past workshops hosted by Ajax found them to be of little value and found them to be frustrating in nature,” he said in a release this week.

The Aberdeen Community Association extended an invitation to KGHM to attend a meeting to discuss the many concerns residents have about the proposed open pit mine. The association offered an hour for a presentation and an hour for questions.

“The meeting was an opportunity for Ajax to reach out to the residents of Aberdeen concerned their community will be subjected to a disproportionate amount of the risk associated with the proposed mine,” Schleiermacher said.

Robin Bartlett of KGHM Ajax Mining says the company has not denied the request specifically but is focused on providing smaller, more intimate meetings at the moment.

“We have offered to meet with the members in smaller groups,” she says, “but we did not say no we will not meet with them.”

Bartlett says they sent out 4,000 invitations to these more 'comfortable' meetings, with a focus on several areas as a start. After hosting the larger public sessions in September the company is now focused on providing smaller meetings that will be more comfortable for some people to speak up at, and will offer participants the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with company representatives.

Many members of the community association are also part of other local groups questioning the project, such as Kamloops Physicians for a Healthy Environment and Kamloops Moms for Clean Air.  Schleiermacher said the hope is to rejuvenate the association to help provide Aberdeen residents a strong voice.

To contact a reporter for this story, email, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.

News from © iNFOnews, 2013

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