ROTHENBURGER – Time to stop being complacent about the threat of Ajax

Public meeting on Ajax in 2017. (Image: File photo, CFJC)

JUST LIKE THAT, Ajax is back in the news.

Abacus Mining and Exploration Corp. announced this week that KGHM, its senior partner in Ajax, has hired a new superintendent “whose duties will initially be focused on First Nations, community and government engagement in order to advance the project towards a potential resubmission of the environmental application.”

This is scary stuff — while there was widespread opposition through the community to the original application, KGHM is capable of a formidable full-court public relations press.

It made a tempting offer to City council last time for a “community compensation” deal, spread donations around town, staged a big rally of supporters at Sandman Centre, produced a video and other promotional materials and got involved in the 2014 civic election by circulating a list of candidates and their positions on the project.

It even offered $5,000 to the Kamloops Area Preservation Association, a major opponent. KAPA turned it down.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8666 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – Time to stop being complacent about the threat of Ajax

  1. This foreign-invested mine needs us, but we don’t need the mine. Their effluent poisons will eventually seep into Kamloops Lake, the Thompson River, the Fraser, etc. The pattern is evident world-wide. Import what we need, and keep our resources as clean as possible. P.Graham

  2. It is amazing how these companies are allowed to come back again and again to try and get approval for projects that are manifestly against the common good.This Polish company has deep pockets to try for a second time hoping that the opposition will have fatigued.It is important for our Civic leaders,and Provincial politicians to take the lead in opposition this time instead of sitting on their hands,waiting to see which way the wind was blowing!
    Our Aboriginal leaders remain adamantly against it,we should all follow their lead.

  3. We sure do not need “waffled words” regardless of the matter at hand. The concerns and all the other reasons for rejecting it in the first place are just a strong and valid now as they were before.

  4. Sean McGuinness // September 5, 2020 at 9:33 AM // Reply

    Well, KGHM has nothing to lose. But the project is a zombie; dead, yet still stumbling around.
    What is also apparent is that this city has thrived economically without the mine. We’ve turned a corner. You look around, and they’re building everywhere. We don’t “need” this mine as was touted before. That argument is as dead as the zombies.

  5. The BC mining industry, like it or not, has a large economic effect, yet a massive negative effect on our waters .

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