Letter to EAO Regarding Blasting from February 2011

Posted by Stop Ajax Mine on July 28th, 2013 7:50am

In light of recent developments regarding the anticipated Ajax blasting, as well as a report from Golder & Associates objecting to the exclusion of air blasting from the environmental assessment process, we have received a letter from Sharon Antoniak that was sent April 9, 2013 to both the CEAA, Catherine Ponsford, and EAO, Scott Bailey. In the letter Sharon explains that her family felt and heard the test blast from February 2011 that KGHM has long stated would not and could not have been felt by anyone. Now with the release by KGHM stating Aberdeen residents would feel blasting, we think it's time to release the letter. 


April 9, 2013

Attention CEAA, Catherine Ponsford, EAO, Scott Bailey,

Proposed Ajax Mine Project    

It is important that our family provide a written response to the two circulated reviews of the Yang and Pratt, 2011 Ajax (Orica) small-scale test blast report.

Having read P.D.Katsabanis commissioned report and the opinion expressed in the review from Bert von Rosen, we recognized significant historical facts have gone unreported in the content of the reviews. The CEAA and the EAO, if not requesting KGHM provide a public monitored large-scale production blast, need to be aware of the following facts.

In 1994 to 1997 the residence and schools now in close proximity were not in the Aberdeen, Pineview Valley or East and West areas of the small Afton/Ajax active open- pit mine. Our residence (Antoniak) was the immediate property on the South boundary of the Afton/Ajax open pit, having been built during the closure time of the mine in 1993/94.

During the blasting at the Afton/Ajax pit, 1994/97 of their operation, not only was the noise intense but the resulting vibrations caused a number of damages to our home and property. The house was built in 1993 and completed in 1994 and while only two small splits occurred in the above ground structure, many movable objects, i.e. pictures, vases, ornaments and the dinning room chandelier were dislodged and broken from the blast vibrations, at times dangerously so. The (Teck) mining company was notified.

In Feb. 2011 our family did hear and feel the small-scale test blast named in the report above, both outdoors and in the house and at that time there was not a phone number or person for us to apprise of our concerns. When our observations/concerns have been verbally given they have been ignored or called false by the Abacus/KGHM personnel. 

We do not agree with the statements made in the above reports and reviews that predictions made from the KGHM/Ajax small-scale test blast can predict the impact on homes due to blast size, location, depth changes, time and weather changes and other variables and therefore be acknowledged by Government as adequate to show protection of the local communities. We know from experience that this is not correct.

We request a number of large production blasts be required of KGHM/Ajax at different depths and in the varied area of diameter of the proposed open pit to provide a public monitored response. We also request that our homes have a structural assessment prior to test or production blasts paid for by the KGHM/Ajax mining Co.  

In the interest of administrative law and fairness to the people we ask the Gov. to mandate these requests.


Sharon Antoniak and family


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