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

Q & A with Rio Tinto Operations Director

Inflows between July, 2018 and June 2019 has been the second lowest since 1956

Fraser Lake business offers equine therapy to deal with life stressors

The idea is to have diverse businesses that provide more options to residents and tourists says Kim Watt-Senner

Smithers man receives two-year sentence for fatal car crash

Over a year after a fatal crash, a Smithers man has been sentenced to two years plus a day in jail.

First Nations push for massive conservation area in northern B.C.

Includes ancestral areas of three Kaska Dena First Nations, just shy of the B.C.-Yukon border

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Family frustrated Terrace dad with advanced cancer must wait weeks for treatment

‘We can see his health declining every day,’ daughter says

Most Read