Ajax Application and Out-of-Scope Issues

Posted by Stop Ajax Mine on December 2nd, 2015 10:16am

On November 20, the Environmental Assessment Office accepted the Ajax application for purposes of a 6 month review.  The acceptance indicated required clarifications and requests for additional information.  The adjusted application will be released to the public on January 4th, 2016.  A 75 day public comment period will be part of the 6 month EAO review.  Our consultants’ report will be required to be entered in the record within the 75 day timeframe. 

The City of Kamloops will also request that a full panel review be initiated by the new federal government which can call for a panel review at any time.  The need for a full panel review is clearly evidenced by the number of public concerns that have been labelled as “out of scope” by the proponent and accepted as such in the present, less thorough, review process.  An “out of scope” issue is one which the proponent is free to ignore and omit from the application and which will not be examined as part of the present assessment process.

What is the risk that taxpayers in Kamloops and in the province of B.C. could be left with crippling costs related to the proposed Ajax mine?  We will never know because the issue of the company’s financial information is an “out of scope” issue.  In a July, 2015, letter to the EAO, the proponent states that “this level of business information is outside the scope of an EA”.  The statement has been accepted by the BCEAO.  This acceptance defies the decision by Justice Affleck that the Government of B.C. has responsibilities to assess a Proponent’s financial ability to pay.  It is also contrary to the Mount Polley Review Panel Recommendations that a bankable financial feasibility study  be required for projects involving wet tailings facilities.  The public’s financial interests are not adequately protected in the present review process.

There are other “out of scope” issues that we hope to describe in subsequent updates leading up to the January 4th release of the Ajax application.  We will continue to ready the consultants for their critique of the application.  The more inadequacies we discover in the present review process, the more important we believe the critique of our experts will be.  Thank you again to all those who contributed the financial support that has made this possible.


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