Ajax mine meetings set for February in Kamloops
The proposed Ajax copper-and-gold mine south of Aberdeen is moving to the next phase in its environmental-assessment process.
Federal and provincial environmental-assessment agencies will hold a public comment period from Jan. 11 to March 12, including a two-day public-information session on Feb. 6 and Feb. 7 at the Coast Kamloops Hotel and Conference Centre on Rogers Way.
The comment period is related to the draft application information requirements/environmental impact statement guidelines document.
Maxine Leger-Haskell, communications advisor with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA), explained the wordy document is essentially like a table of contents that everything the proponent, in this case KGHM, needs to submit as part of the environmental assessment.
She also noted the comment period is longer than usual.
“We think that time will be well used by the people of Kamloops,” Leger-Haskell said.
The CEAA and its provincial counterpart, the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office, are still working on some of the details with the comment period and are expected to provide more information on Jan. 4.
However, unlike the public-information session held in June, which was one night for a few hours, the upcoming two-day sessions will run from noon to 8 p.m. each day.
Leger-Haskell said longer hours will give residents a chance to sit down and talk to environmental experts and company officials in attendance.
The CEAA has given Sierra Club BC $15,915 to participate in the federal assessment of project.
Others receiving funding include the Grasslands Conservation Council of British Columbia, Sharon Antoniak and Susan McGillivray.
It appears as though 2012 is shaping up to be a busy year for the mine project.
Earlier this month, federal Environment Minister Peter Kent rejected a request by the city to have a independent-panel review of the project, but the minister did promise to visit Kamloops and the mine site in the new year.
Located partially within City of Kamloops boundaries and two kilometres from a pair of Aberdeen elementary schools, the Ajax mine operation would stretch west to the Coquihalla Highway and is part of the old Afton Mine site.
The mine is expected to produce about 50,000 tons of copper and 100,000 ounces of gold per year for the life of operation, which is predicted to be 23 years.