MAC: Mines and Communities

Canada: City council backs First Nations over Ajax mine

Published by MAC on 2017-07-19
Source: CFJC Today (2017-07-17)

For a recent post, see: First Nations panel nixes Ajax mine

Kamloops city council says 'no' to KGHM-Ajax

By James Peters

CFJC Today

17 July 2017

Kamloops council has officially expressed its opposition to the proposed KGHM-Ajax copper-gold mine.

Council voted 4-2 to draft a letter to the senior levels of government, stating it is not in favour of the mine being built on its southern border, and adding a list of concerns in support of that position.

While four of the six around the Kamloops council table had previously expressed their opposition to the mine, one of those still reluctant to express a position until today was Acting Mayor Arjun Singh.

He gave five reasons for deciding to speak against the project, including the work already accomplished by local First Nations.

"I think the SSN (Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation) process of assessing the mine proposal is incredibly comprehensive and democratic. While we may differ as the city — and as councillors — with specific SSN stances from issue to issue, on economic and land use decisions as large as Ajax, I think a lack of SSN support is a deal-breaker," said Singh.

If the mine is approved in spite of council's objections, the city will have a community benefit agreement in place with the company.

The deal was reached after 18 months of negotiation, and would provide the city with $3.8 million annually.

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