Kamloops City council will have two 12-page letters to environmental agencies from which to choose when it meets Monday to say yes or no to the proposed Ajax open-pit mine.
The letters, prepared by staff, both propose a list of conditions the City would like to see if the mine is approved. The difference is, one letter states council’s opposition to the mine, the other states support.
“Kamloops City Council wishes to express their support for the proposed KGHM Ajax Mine project (the project),” one draft begins. “In considering their decision, City Council has taken into account the results of SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd.’s (SÒR’s) technical review of the Application and supporting documents, as well as feedback from Kamloops residents and businesses. This position is unconditional.”
The first paragraph of the second draft options states, “City Council wishes to express their opposition to the proposed KGHM Ajax Mine project (the Project). In considering their decision, Council has taken into account the results of SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd.’s SLR’s) technical review of the Application and supporting documents, as well as feedback from Kamloops residents and businesses. This position is unconditional.”
Both proposed letters then go on to say that “notwithstanding their decision,” the council submits a list of “recommended conditions of project certification,” including “a robust, effective, and transparent monitoring and adaptive management program.”
On the list of recommended conditions are an Inter-Agency Working Group, an Operations Environmental Management Plan, a Decommissioning Environmental Management Plan, an environmental monitoring plan, an independent environmental monitor, accountability on the 90-per cent mitigation target for air3 quality impact, more study on the effects on Jacko Lake, and other conditions on such things as dark sky, socio-economics and accidents.
Four of the six council members have stated their opposition to the mine, so the only question will be whether council alters or eliminates staff’s recommendations on conditions.
For the full staff report and the two drafts of proposed letters to the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, and B.C. and federal environment ministers, click here.
The Ajax decision is the only item on the agenda for Monday’s special council meeting, which starts at 10:30 a.m. in City Hall.