Kamloops to pay extra $200,000 for independent review of Ajax mine proposal | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops to pay extra $200,000 for independent review of Ajax mine proposal

The proposed Ajax Mine.
October 26, 2016 - 4:31 PM

KAMLOOPS - Despite KGHM Ajax denying the city’s request for continued funding of SLR Consultants, who are reviewing the mine application on behalf of the city, councillors decided to approve up to $200,000 to be used on consulting fees in a unanimous vote.

There was a certain amount of frustration voiced with the company and process by council. The four councillors who already opposed the project said they were disappointed with KGHM Ajax’s decision and concerned about how long the process is taking. Additionally, Coun. Arjun Singh said he would decide on whether to support or oppose the mine after the next round of answers are sent in by KGHM Ajax.

The application is currently temporarily suspended at day 107 of 180 in the application review process, though analysis of the application and data is still going. The federal and provincial environmental assessment agencies have until day 180 to review the project, once the process is restarted. However, the city has a much shorter timeline as comments need to be sent around day 130. Additionally, the city doesn’t have any legal power to veto or give the mine the go ahead and can only voice support or opposition to the agencies making the decision.

Council had asked in early October for KGHM Ajax to continue funding the city's independent review of the mine application, but last week received a letter from the mining company rejecting the request.

KGHM Ajax gave the city $300,000 for the independant consultant, but that money is running out. The appilcation assessment was originally scheduled to be finished in the summer, before KGHM Ajax requested the temporary suspension in order to address questions the assement agencies, technical working group reviewing the appilcation and public had.

For more on the proposed copper and gold mine south west of the city's bondary, click here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 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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