KAMLOOPS - The groups aiming to raise at least $25,000 to hire 'independent experts' to analyze the enviornmental application for the proposed Ajax Mine have surpassed their goal.
The online fundraising campaign ‘Help Stop the Ajax Mine’ had raised more than $26,000 as of Wednesday, June 10. The goal may be met, but John Schleiermacher, a spokesperson for the Kamloops Area Preservation Association, says they will continue to accept donations until their 30 days on the site is up.
The campaign, which began three weeks ago, seeks $25,000 to hire ‘independent experts’ to evaluate the KGHM Ajax Mine proposal.
KGHM had contributed $5,000 to the campaign, but their donation was rejected. The administators of the campaign had Indiegogo refund the company's money.
Schleiermacher looks forward to affording 'real independent science.' His, and other groups involved in the campaign, have already compiled a list of independent experts. The groups also hope to rent a store front where people can pick up information on the proposed mine.
According the Schleiermacher, how the campaign spends its money depends on the actual Ajax application. While KGHM is promising to release details of the report in 'simple language,' the document is still expected to be thousands of pages. Schleiermacher says getting through this document would be like 'reading a novel each day for the six month review period.'
Schleiermacher says they are expecting information in the report about things such as property values and health implications, and the experts will be needed to analyze the information as well as any worse case scenarios that are included.
As laymen, the campaign realizes there are areas of the report that need professional scrutiny, Schleiermacher says. He says the report will be divided into applicable sections and each group will read the applicable parts.
“Grasslands, they have their own team of people, so the naturalists or the fish and game club…I’m not going to read the parts pertaining to grasslands,” he says.
By the time the campaign is over and when private donations promised are collected, Schleiermacher expects the funding to be in the triple figures.
The proposed Ajax Mine has been a contentious issue in Kamloops for a number of years. If approved, the current footprint will have the mine located at the southwest edge of the city. The official application is expected to be submitted this summer.
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