Posted by Stop Ajax Mine on June 19th, 2015 8:18am

Five community groups advocating for the health and well being of the citizens of Kamloops, British Columbia, joined forces to conduct a 30-day grassroots crowdfunding campaign that met and exceeded its target.

Funds raised will be used to hire independent experts to critique the formal application for the proposed Ajax mine, a huge open pit copper/gold mining operation on the doorstep of the B.C. Interior City of 87,000 people.

The five groups (Kamloops Physicians for a Healthy Environment, Kamloops Moms for Clean Air, Kamloops Area Preservation Association, Concerned Citizens, and the Human Rights Committee of Thompson Rivers University) share serious concerns regarding the size and location of the proposed Ajax mine. 

Ajax mine activities would affect more than 30 square kilometres of grasslands, lakes and streams, making it among Canada’s largest open pit operations.  Its proposed location is within 2 km of an elementary school and in close proximity to a seniors’ care facility and residences.

It also borders the area identified to hold 48% of Kamloops’ future growth.

The wet tailings facility to be poised above the city is more than five times the size of the Mount Polley tailings pond, whose breach caused the major environmental disaster in the Cariboo region of central B.C. in 2014.  

The Ajax tailings pond would be located in the watershed of Peterson Creek, which flows through the heart of the city and empties into the Thompson River, route of the Adams River salmon run.

The city of Kamloops, downwind and downstream of the mine’s proposed location, also experiences regular temperature inversions that trap pollution.  Prevailing winds could carry toxic emissions from the mine into the city’s densely populated valley where they could be locked for days.

In 2013, Dr. Peter Barss, Interior Medical Health Officer at the time, described the proposed Ajax mine as “unsafe, and…. a serious health hazard for the city”, also stating that “the EAO (environmental assessment office) should…stop the review process for the proposal and remove it from further consideration”.  

Despite the stark warning from Dr. Barss, the EAO is expected to receive a formal application for Ajax mine in the early fall.

Independent experts hired by the crowdfunding campaign will be looking to identify key deficiencies in the application, issues that continue to pose serious risks to public health and safety. 

The original $25,000 crowdfunding target was surpassed well before the end of the campaign.  The appeal raised $31,350 on the “Indiegogo” crowdfunding site.  Additional donations by cheque, which are still coming in, have increased the tally to $35,358, a number that continues to rise.

“We are so very grateful to each of the hundreds of donors who made the campaign such a success.  People responded quickly and generously to our David and Goliath struggle to defend the health and well being of the people of Kamloops,” stated the groups’ spokesperson, Dianne Kerr. 

“Our appeal was successful on many levels.  The crowdfunding efforts helped us get our message out to the world,” stated Kerr.  “The site received visits from 83 countries and more than 3300 individual visits.”


Submitted on behalf of the Coalition of Concerned Community Groups

Media contact for the Coalition:
Dianne Kerr, e-mail: ; phone: 250 374 1335. 


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