Another response to Peter Kent

Posted by John Schleiermacher on November 30th, 2011 8:26pm

The following is another letter in response to Peter Kent's reply to a number of concerned Kamloops citizens about the proposed KGHM Ajax mine. We previously posted a response from Michael Hewitt here.


November 25, 2011


The Honourable Peter Kent  
Minister of Environment 
House of Commons 
Parliament Buildings 
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0E6


Dear Minister Kent,

Thank you for responding to my letter dated July 22, 2011 regarding the many concerns that the 90,000 residents of Kamloops and the surrounding area have about the proposed Ajax Copper-Gold Mine Project, of which half of its footprint falls within the City of Kamloops.

The residents are extremely concerned that the majority of shareholders in the project (KGHM Polska Miedz SA) have just been named as the worst polluter in Europe by the UK based Environmental Investment Organisation (EIO), and that we will be forced to live with their apparent lack of respect for the environment for the next 23 years.

The residents of Kamloops are also concerned about the lack of transparency and public input during the current comprehensive assessment. The public open house held June 16, 2011 was a huge disappointment. The venue was much too small to hold the 400 attendees. Many people were forced to stand in the hallway and were unable to hear or see the three presentations. The question period was much too short which resulted in many attendees unable to ask their questions or express their concerns. Both government agencies quickly ran out of handouts, again leaving most attendees disappointed. There were no transcripts made of the open house, therefore there are no records of any statements made by the proponent.

The proponent has made a number of glaring misrepresentations, notably its location to the proximity to Kamloops. During the Public Open House Jim Whittaker, the mine’s project manager, was asked why all the project’s literature indicates that the mine is located 10 kms from Kamloops when in fact approximately half of its footprint falls within the City of Kamloops boundary. “Was it to mislead residents of the City of Kamloops, investors or Both?’   He did not reply to the question.  To date, none of the mine’s literature has been changed to present a more accurate picture of its actual location in respect to proximity to the City’s residential areas. In the Kamloops Daily News article of March10, 2011 Jim Whittaker was quoted as saying that Jocko Lake would not be altered by the operation of the mine. On page 41 of the Project Summary completed by Knight Piesold Consulting for the proponent of the mine, however, states that there will be impact to northeast section of Jacko Lake and fish habitat will be lost.

I urge you to refer the proposed Ajax Copper-Gold Mine Project to a joint panel review pursuant to your authority under Section 28 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (“CEAA”). The residents of Kamloops are convinced that a comprehensive study of the Ajax Copper Mine Project is not adequate to address the significant adverse environmental effects of the Project.  The Mayor and Council of the City of Kamloops passed a motion on October 4, 2011 supporting the need of a joint panel review to ensure that the 90,000 residents receive the most rigorous and transparent environmental assessment possible.

In conclusion, I urge you to exercise your authority under Section 28 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act to establish a panel review jointly with British Columbia to assess the sustainability and adverse environmental effects of the proposed Ajax Copper-Gold Mine Project.   


John Schleiermacher
Kamloops, BC


Kiona on 2011-12-14 20:32:49

I didn't know where to find this info then kaobom it was here.

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