The proposed site of the Ajax mine, south of Aberdeen. (Kamloops This Week file photo)

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

The province has killed the KGHM Ajax open-pit copper and gold mine project, primarily due to its proposed vicinity to the city of Kamloops.

In an announcement Thursday, B.C. Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister George Heyman and Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Michelle Mungall said the government would not issue an environmental assessment certificate to for the mining project, which requires both provincial and federal approval.

KGHM Ajax proposed a 1,700-hectare mine, located about two kilometres southwest of Kamloops and on the asserted traditional territories of the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwépemc Nation, Ashcroft Indian Band, Lower Nicola Indian Band and Whispering Pines/Clinton Indian Band.

Through several summary assesment reports, including a joint review with the federal government, as well as submissions from the City of Kamloops and the company, the ministers concluded that the “potential, and in many cases significant, adverse effects of the Ajax project outweighed the potential benefits,” according to a statement.

Key findings from the environmental assessment noted by the ministers include:

  • Fifty-three residual and cumulative adverse effects across the five pillars assessed by the EAO (environmental, economic, social, heritage and health) in areas such as air quality and human well-being, Jacko Lake and surrounding area, social and economic valued components, as well as grasslands and ecosystems.
  • The conclusion by an environmental assesment that 21 of these adverse effects were of moderate-to-high magnitude.
  • In addressing the 21 high-to-moderate-magnitude adverse effects, the environmental assessment had low-to-moderate confidence in its assessment of nine of the effects.

Significant adverse effects to Indigenous heritage and to the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes.

The close proximity to Aberdeen, a neighbourhood in Kamloops that include an elementary school, was also a concern for the ministers.

Since the mine was proposed in 2012, the project has been met with heavy criticism from local residents and environmental activists.

With files from Kamloops This Week


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

FOLLOW-UP: Shelley Downey speaks on her Conservative candidacy

“I anticipate requesting a leave of absence from Port McNeill council,” Downey said.

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

Mount Washington opening for winter season this weekend

The resort’s original opening day was delayed due to lack of snow

Shoebox Project: Local women in need to enjoy shoebox gifts

This year over 500 gift filled Shoeboxes were delivered in Campbell River and the North Island.

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Port McNeill council releases committee appointments

The town finalized their committee appointments in a recent council meeting.

Woman guilty of impaired driving in death of Vancouver Island pedestrian

Man in his 70s killed in 2016 Courtenay multi-vehicle incident

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Most Read