One undecided Kamloops councillor nearly ready to make a decision on Ajax Mine
By Brendan Kergin
The site of the proposed Ajax Mine.
(JENNIFER STAHN / iNFOnews.ca)
October 25, 2016 - 5:11 PM
KAMLOOPS - One of the councillors who has remained undecided on the proposed Ajax Mine now says he knows when his decision will be made.
Coun. Arjun Singh expects to have a personal decision on the project following the next round of information from the mining company.
“When the information comes in I will decide on the basis of that information,” he says. “That will be the basis on which I evaluate the application.”
He could be the first councillor to support the mine or the fifth to publicly oppose it. If he opposes it, that would mean the majority of councillors have stated opposition to the project and if a vote was held, the city would officially oppose the mine.
The mine application is currently temporarily suspended while the company gathers more information and Singh expects all questions to be answered once the proposal returns. He won't wait for further rounds of back-and-forth with the company.
“I’m not going to have a situation where they say 'oh there’s gaps, we have to go back and work on those gaps,’” he says. “What I’m assuming is that Ajax will have answers to this round of questions... If there’s gaps identified in that information, they don’t have the opportunity to go and fix it. For me, that’s it.”
While the mine application is still temporarily suspended, there is no schedule for when the next round of answers may come in.
Whatever council decides will have no legal bearing on the final decision. The opinion will be taken into account by the federal and provincial environmental assessment agencies, but the city has no real power in the discussion.
Estimates in the summer suggested the suspension would end in October, but in a letter to Kamloops council last week the mine’s project manager, Chris Wild, wrote “all required information including responses to comments and questions” will be sent in later this year.
One round of information has come in during the suspension in August. The suspension, requested by KGHM Ajax, can only be lifted by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office once certain requirements are met regarding answers provided to those reviewing the assessment and a draft of their First Nations Consultation Report.
For more on the proposed mine, click here.
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