Kamloops News

Temporary suspension for Ajax Mine application approved

KAMLOOPS - The B.C. Environmental Assessment Office has agreed to suspend the application process for the proposed Ajax Mine.

At the request of KGHM Ajax Mining, the assessment office officially suspended the application review today, May 4. In two letters to the mining company the assessment office says 'certain deliverables must be completed' before the suspension is lifted.

The goals listed in the letters are a full response to comments from the technical working group and Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc, completed response documents to public comments and a draft of their First Nations Consultation Report. The assessment office will then consult with First Nations and working group before proceeding with the process.

The letters say the assessment office will work with the mining company to set up a plan to complete the work in a timely manner. Work will also continue on the assessment process, even while the schedule is suspended, with information reviewed regularly, one letter says.

City council delayed their meeting to decide on whether or not to support the mine, which was planned for next week, after learning about the suspension request.

The letter says the application is suspended at day 107 of the original 180 allotted for the review period. Once the suspension is lifted and the review period continues, the environmental assessment agencies will continue to review the information before making a decision on whether to approve the application, deny it, or ask for more information.

If approved, the open-pit copper and gold mine will operate just southwest of the city for more than 20 years.

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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