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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Valley man warning others through video following cyber attack

Julian White had his online portfolio hacked less than two weeks ago.

Life on street inspires Comox man to help others without homes

For Sam Franey, it all starts with making connections between people

Cumberland council awards two tenders for fire hall

Contracts cover civil works and mechanical infrastructure in building

L’Arche Comox Valley community reeling over findings of inquiry into founder

The local L’Arche community is reeling in the wake of a report… Continue reading

Comox Valley Waldorf School closing

The Comox Valley Waldorf School (CVWS) is familiar with change. It has… Continue reading

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

Most Read