Sponsored Content Experts who studied the issue of potential effects of the proposed Ajax Mine on Kamloops property values as part of the mine's environmental assessment concluded that changes to property values can't be boiled down to a single influence.
The drivers are numerous and complex, especially in a large urban centre such as Kamloops. The studies conclude the Ajax Project would be only one in a wide array of factors that could affect the local real estate market.
The project Application/Environmental Impact Statement concludes that some individual property values could see short-term declines related to how individuals feel about or perceive the project, independent of the project's actual impacts. However, it's expected that those values will stabilize and eventually increase once it becomes apparent the Ajax Project will have only minor effects.
"We expect that property values will rise, in fact," said Ajax Project External Affairs Manager Yves Lacasse. "The Ajax Project will bring 500 well-paying jobs to Kamloops, and our workers will need homes. Local businesses we'll partner with will also see a boost. A robust economy is always the best way to ensure stable property values in any community."
The Ajax Project's EA considered the various ways that properties could be affected, including potential changes in air quality, noise and vibration, recreational opportunities and views. Findings from the full suite of in-depth environmental studies were fed into the assessment to ensure potential changes were evaluated through the lens of real estate. The neighbourhoods closest to the Project, including Aberdeen, Pineview Valley and Upper Sahali were given particular attention, along with Knutsford and rural areas around the proposed mine site.
The most effective way to address those concerns and safeguard the interests of property owners is through effective mitigation, monitoring and adaptive management efforts designed to limit Ajax's impacts. KGHM will carry out these programs to ensure Ajax is a good neighbour to Kamloops and the surrounding area. Once these mitigation strategies are implemented, studies predict that property values will rebound in full.
A small number of rural properties may experience some measurable environmental effects as a result of Ajax. Those cases notwithstanding, the Project's environmental studies predict no adverse changes in air quality, water quality, noise or vibration.
Lacasse said the company will work with local property owners and the community as the Ajax Project begins construction and operations to provide the facts about the mine's impacts. As well, Ajax proposes extensive monitoring and adaptive management plans to find and address issues should they emerge.
To expand that conversation, a Community Liaison Group, involving the City of Kamloops, and other stakeholders, will be formed to discuss issues that could affect local property values.
"For a lot of people, the property they own is their greatest asset. With that fact in mind, our goal is to improve the community we live in by protecting folks' most important investments," said Lacasse.
The company points to its history in designing the Ajax Project as proof of the commitment to protect property values. KGHM redesigned the original mine plan to cluster and move project facilities farther from the Coquihalla Highway and nearby neighbourhoods. The new Project alignment means Ajax will be almost entirely out of sight from city neighbourhoods.