AJAX MINE MATH
To really understand the impact of Ajax Mine on our community we need to look at some projections.
Based on the Company’s interim statements dated March 31 2011, the projected cost to produce a pound of copper concentrate is $1.17. At a current market value of approximately $4.00 per pound at an annual rate of production of 106 million pounds will generate gross profit before taxes of $6,899,540,000 over the 23 year life of the mine. The cost to produce a pound of copper is based on a net back of the price of gold at $700 per troy ounce. The price of gold today is around $1700 per troy ounce, therefore the extra $1000 at a rate of production of 99,400 ounces per year will generate additional gross profit of $2,286,200,000. This results in a total profit of over $9 billion dollars that will leave the Kamloops area, mostly to Poland and some to Victoria to fund projects such as bridges, roads and stadium roofs in the golden triangle. This means that the mine will generate over $100,000 of profit for every man, women and child that lives in Kamloops today.
So what do we get in return?
A reduction in current property values for homes in Aberdeen, Pineview Valley, South Sahali, Knutsford and in Mt. Dufferin of 5% to 25% for a total of between $135,000,000 to $675,000.000 based on average current home values of $300,000. These residents will not be in the mood to spend much at local businesses after their assessment notices arrive.
There will be an increase in health costs from increased dust and other contaminants from 33 tons of explosives used per day, industrial accidents, and auto accidents from the significant increase in traffic on the Lac Le Juene Hwy. There will be health costs from issues caused by sleep deprivation from 24 hour a day of blasting, heavy-duty equipment operation and illumination.
The costs to tax payers of upgrade and maintenance of roads and highways to accommodate the significant increase in employee and transport traffic for the mine.
A reduction in property taxes received by the City of Kamloops after reduced assessed values in Aberdeen, Pineview Valley, South Sahali, Knutsford and Mt. Dufferin
Damage from potential shifting of soils and water drainage problems due to the billions of tons of waste rock to be stored within the city limits.
Potential loss of Jacko Lake, which generates $1,000,000 per year of economic activity into the local economy, according to retired fisheries biologist Brian Chan.
The potential loss or contamination of Peterson Creek and the affect on the families that rely on its water rights as their soul source of water.
The loss of grazing land, which sustains 1000 head of cattle.
The loss of wetlands and grasslands that are home to numerous red and blue listed species.
The potential loss of our status as Tournament Capital and the cash infusion into the local economy from future events. I doubt that we will be hosting such events such as the Western Canada Summer Games if athletes are forced to deal with air quality issues. According to game organizers the recent WCSG had an economic benefit of an estimated $9,000,000.
General Quality of life issues. Kamloops will no longer be a destination place for those that chose lifestyle over the grind of large centres. Many residents including health professionals and business owners have already stated that they will be leaving Kamloops if the mine proceeds.
There will be some short term benefits during the life of the mine. An annual payroll of 500 employees will generate $25,000,000 in wages to the local economy after income taxes. These wages must be weighed against the lose of those that will be leaving the area. And of course the people at city hall are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of being thrown a few crumbs from the mine. Also we must be cautious about the claims of the benefit of capital expenditures made by Ajax. The mine will not be purchasing their 240 ton trucks at the local Ford dealership or their diesel fuel at the local Shell station.
At the end of the day we will see billions of profits leave the area and the costs for the residents and the environment will be huge. We will be left with a 1500 ft hole in the ground, two enormous waste rock piles 300 feet high, and a massive 6 sq km tailings pond straddling Goose Lake and environs. The character of Kamloops will be changed forever.