KAMLOOPS – The review of the Ajax mine application is finally available online, less than one week before the findings are set to be presented at a town hall meeting.
The 70-page document is posted on the City of Kamloops website and deputy mayor Arjun Singh says he hopes residents will read through the material.
"We certainly encourage people to look at it. The intention was to give people some preparation material so anyone can come with questions for folks at SLR Consulting to respond to," Singh says.
The independent review combs over information on KGHM's Ajax mine application. The review examines the mining company's application and touches on air and water quality, healthcare, property value, tourism, accidents and other areas.
Notably, the review pointed out problems in KGHM's assessment of the effect the mine will have on the local healthcare system and that beyond interviews, there was not enough research done by the mining company. The report continues to say the estimated population boost of about 400 families and would add more weight to an already stressed local healthcare system.
SLR Consulting agreed with the mining company's projected employment growth of 1,510 to 1,850 local jobs during peak construction and dropping to about 933 total jobs during operations.
The review cost $200,000 yet city council's opinion on the proposed copper and gold mine doesn't hold any legal weight. Ultimately, the fate of the project is in the hands of the provincial and federal governments.
"We are not the decision makers but we do feel a duty to cover this because it's an issue that's of city interest and local interest," Singh says. "We spent a lot, and community's interests covered as well. I think we felt a responsibility to take time and give our comment on the proposal."
SLR Consulting will present the findings at a public town hall on June 19 at 6 p.m. at the Coast Hotel and Conference Centre. Locals will have a chance to ask the consulting company questions about the assessment process. City council will vote on its official Ajax stance on July 17.
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