Water, water everywhere...

Posted by Ruth Madsen on February 20th, 2012 10:03pm

The following letter written by Ruth Madsen, summarizes our concerns regarding water and the Ajax mine, as well as conflicts raised in the feasibility study by some facts mentioned by Ajax. The booklet that was released said the mine would be a "zero discharge facility" yet, the Feasibility Study mentions the Tailings Facility would be a "zero discharge facility" not the entire mine. These are the kinds of misleading statements that keep us concerned about the mine and the amount of honesty coming from KGHM Ajax.



Especially at Ajax Mine

At the recent Ajax "open house" representatives of Abacus consultants, (Knight Piesold) stated that the Ajax Project Description figure of 1,688 m3/h (1,688,000 litres/hr) of water is established as the design requirement of the Project. They also stated that this amount of water would be pumped from Kamloops Lake to the mine site 24/7, 365 days per year. This means that an annual total of 14 billion, 690 million, 520,000 litres of water will be supplied to the mine site for 23 years! The recently published Ajax booklet states that the proposed project is a "zero discharge" facility. This statement conflicts with the Abacus Feasibility Study (s. 18-5) which applies the term "Zero discharge" to the Tailings Storage Facility ONLY, not to the mine as a whole. In light of the problems the Aberdeen area currently experiences with ground water and ground slippage, how will the proponent achieve "zero discharge". How will they prevent the escape of water from the mine site toward Kamloops thus worsening the situation in Aberdeen? Any additional water entering the Aberdeen area could prove disastrous. Add to this the problem of the huge amount of waste rock that will be piled on the heights above the city. Over the life of the mine a total of 1 billion, 155 million, 500 thousand tonnes of rock will be pressing down on the substrata immediately uphill of Aberdeen in the waste rock and stockpiled rock facilities.. This area already has significant excess groundwater and ground slippage problems which require the operation of a number of wells, and the monitoring of piezometers registering ground movement.  How will they prevent water contaminated with toxic metals from leaking into Peterson Creek, a source of water for Knutsford residents? Peterson Creek could drain such toxic contaminants into the Thompson River, a source of fish and drinking water for downstream residents. The huge 3 kilometre X 1 kilometre tailings storage facility is another problem entirely....



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