Economic Issues of Ajax Mine

KGHM Ajax has to date been very willing to emphasize its claims of economic benefits created by the proposed mine, but equally unwilling to address the possibility of any adverse economic impacts. KGHM Ajax states that it will create 500 jobs during the operation of the mine.  Given that there are about 50,000 people already employed in Kamloops, 500 jobs is not very much when one considers the economic costs of those jobs.

Dust, noise, use of massive amounts of water and fog created by the mine could have significant impacts in the City of Kamloops. The population of Kamloops could decline as retired people, students, migratory workers, sports tournament participants and tourists move away or avoid the city. Selected secondary economic impacts could be substantial.  Retired people are strong supporters of the Kamloops Symphony and the Thomson Valley Orchestras.

A relative decline in the property values of the neighbourhoods that could be most affected by mine dust and noise (e.g, Iron Mask, Pineview Valley, Aberdeen, Knutsford, Dufferin, and Sahali ) could shift the property tax burden to other neighbourhoods, unless KGHM Ajax provides sufficient compensation to counter this tax shift.

 The negative impact on the city's infrastructure could prove extremely expensive.

The following links provide further information on economic issues:

Dr. Peter Tsigaris, economics professor at TRU, gave a public presentation, March 9, 2014.  Here are the vidoes:, 

Part 1:  The presentation starts with an introduction on the benefits and costs that arise from projects that yield cleaner air versus those that increase air pollution. This allows a community to consider alternative paths such as projects which produce a cleaner air. Cleaner air is good economics. It has been shown in many studies that the benefits arising from cleaner air far exceed the costs of environmental regulation.
Part 2: Part 2 looks at air pollution with a focus on particulate matter in Kamloops. Possible air pollution sources are identified. Given that already an existing underground mine is very close to the new proposed KGHM/Ajax project the environmental review committee should not consider the new project in isolation. The review should look at the combined environmental and health impact on the community.
Part 3:   Part 3 explores the impact of increased air pollution on health, the value we place on safety (i.e., the value of a statistical life), and a brief overview of two benefit-cost studies performed by the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. to determine the consequence of the regulatory amendments to the Clean Air Act over time. Both studies show that the benefits far exceed the costs of environmental regulations.
Part 4:  Part 4 examines the possible health effects of increased air pollution in Kamloops. Exposed population affects health proportionally. The larger the exposed population to air contaminants, the bigger the health impact. A virtual "world tour" is taken to determine whether large urban cities are located close to large open pit mines. The evidence indicated that large cities are rarely close to large open pit mines. It is significantly more common to find small towns near open pit mines. Because of a larger exposed population, the increased air pollution has a bigger health impact for a large city relative to small towns.
Part 5:  Part 5: The possible economic costs (benefits) of increased (decreased) air pollution in Kamloops are assessed and a number of recommendations are made.
The following links provide further information on economic issues: