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CBC – Environmental assessment sinks proposed Ajax mine near Kamloops. KGHM’s proposed open-pit copper and gold mine would have spanned 1,700 hectares

The provincial government has opted not to issue an environmental assessment certificate for a proposed open-pit copper and gold mine near Kamloops, prompting applause from the city and local First Nations.

The 1,700-hectare Ajax mine proposed by KGHM would have been located about 10 kilometres southwest of Kamloops on the traditional territories of the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwpemc Nation (SSN), Ashcroft Indian Band, Lower Nicola Indian Band and Whispering Pines/Clinton Indian Band.

According to a statement from the provincial environment and mines ministries, an environmental assessment found too many negative impacts for the proposal in areas such as air quality and local ecosystems. “Given these conclusions and the close proximity of Ajax to the City of Kamloops –  including an elementary school, the ministers concluded the adverse effects would not likely be mitigated to an acceptable level and would therefore present an unacceptable risk,” a government news release said

…The province also says the proposal posed unacceptable negative effects on First Nations’ traditional use of land in the area, as well as the rights and title asserted specifically by the SSN First Nation.

…In a separate statement, Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna echoed the conclusions of the province about the adverse impacts of the mine proposal. She said she has now referred the project back to Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Natural Resources Canada, who will have to ask cabinet to make the final decision on whether the project will go ahead. But Heyman said that even if the feds decide to push ahead with the mine, KGHM will still require an environmental assessment certificate from the province..

…Full article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/environmental-assessment-sinks-proposed-ajax-mine-near-kamloops-1.4449434

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