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

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Haida hereditary chief named Liberal Candidate for North Coast Region

Roy Jones Jr. is named Liberal MLA candidate for the North Coast

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Permanent fish-passage solutions considered at Big Bar landslide

151,000 salmon detected this year north of site

Most Read