Re: KGHM Ajax Mining Company committed to community. Daily News, May 31, 2012.

Posted by Michael Hewitt on June 9th, 2012 12:42am

In his letter of May 31 Mr. Mostowy protests that false statements have been made about KGHM Ajax, wants to set the record straight and to deliver facts. Mr. Mostowy then proceeds to make statements which misrepresent the facts in a number of ways. For example, Mr. John Schleiermacher is indeed a member of KAPA, but it was as a private individual he wrote the letter to which Mr. Mostowy objects. He did not discuss it with KAPA, and has every right to act on his own behalf, so Mr. Mostowy is wrong to attribute Mr. Schleiermacher's letter to KAPA.  Further, the Community Advisory Group (CAG) representatives for KAPA are Dr. Judith Naylor and myself, not Mr. Schleiermacher as was implied.  The EAO staff at CAG meetings made it very clear that members are free to deal with the media without jeopardizing their membership on CAG.  Being a member of CAG does not mean that members cannot continue to present the positions of their parent groups to the public. If letters to the media from KAPA members who also sit on CAG are considered to be "circumventing the EA process" then the many statements made by Mr. Whittaker on behalf of KGHM Ajax to organizations, city council and the media actively promoting the proposed mine must also be considered to be "circumventing the EA process". Remember, KGHM Ajax is a key participant in the EA process, so  KGHM should leave it to the EA process to conduct a proper review and stop trying to influence the decision makers. 

Mr. Mostowy insists that KGHM Ajax welcomes all dialogue, and wants to tell the community about his company. He further states that KAPA has yet to respond to an invitation to discuss our concerns with his company. Prior to Mr. Mostowy's letter of May 31st KAPA had never received an offer to meet with any KGHM representative. On the contrary, in November 2011 KAPA invited KGHM Ajax to present their proposal to a forum. There was not to be a debate, just an opportunity for KAPA and KGHM Ajax to present their positions to those running for election to city council. Mr. John Froese declined on behalf of KGHM Ajax. In March 2012 KAPA chairperson Dr. Judith Naylor wrote to Mr. Wirth asking for a meeting, but never received a response.  On May 31st Mr. Schleiermacher, in this case acting on behalf of KAPA, phoned Mr. Whittaker's office suggesting that he and KAPA meet. Mr. Whittaker has agreed, with time and place yet to be determined. 

In his letter Mr. Mostowy states that his company welcomes all dialogue. Mr. Mostowy  states "...We want to hear from you. It's our chance to listen to the community's concerns, and to answer any questions...". This statement flies in the face of KGHM's performance to date. Getting information from KGHM that does not promote the project has proven extremely difficult, and KAPA can cite many examples if requested. The workshop hosted by KGHM in May was yet another example of their resistance to answering questions from concerned citizens. 

Mr. Mostowy refers to false statements being made about the company. KAPA has focused on the facts not on personal or corporate attacks. KAPA  has yet to receive a clear contradiction of any of the KAPA statements made via the print, radio or TV media, or of those posted on the KAPA web site. On the contrary, Abacus/KGHM has made a few false statements of their own. The mine is NOT 10 kilometres from the city. That widely distributed statement was only changed months after it was first made, and only then after pressure from KAPA and Mel Rothenburger's editorials. And the mine will not achieve zero discharge while pumping 15 billion litres of water per year to the mine site. Mr. Whittaker conceded at the recent KGHM public consultation workshop that excess water would evaporate, i.e. huge amounts of water will discharge into the air, with all the consequent environmental effects outlined at the city council presentation made by Dr. R. Schemenauer Ph.D. atmospheric physics (who is not a KAPA member).

In summary, KAPA as an all-volunteer community organization, funded by small individual donations, has obvious challenges when faced with the media pressures induced by a multi-billion corporation partly owned by the Polish Government. We are doing our best to see that citizens of Kamloops get not only the correct information but the essential information on the proposed KGHM Ajax mine.


Michael Hewitt


There are currently no comments on this blog post.

Post a Comment