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NEWS: Kamloops concerned about tailings pond wiping out Inks Lake

The Kamloops Daily News reports, “Few city residents understand how big a mine has been proposed for the hills above Aberdeen and Pineview Valley, say those who have seen the plans. But people should pay close attention as KGHM Ajax Mining Inc. begins the process of obtaining an environmental permit to mine for copper and gold at a site near Jacko Lake (a popular fishing lake), they said. …Doreen Wallace and her husband Tom own a piece of property…that borders the proposed mining site. …She is alarmed at the size and extent of the industrial operations, which includes a manufacturing centre inside City limits and a tailings pond that could wipe out Inks Lake beside the old Lac Le Jeune Highway.”

“The Ajax mine proposal would see a massive pit dug beside Jacko Lake many times bigger than the lake itself. As well, the company proposes a second smaller open pit between the lake and Aberdeen, a dig that would put mining operations within a short (15-minute) walking distance of upper Aberdeen. “(The mine’s) project manager Jim Whittaker said the proposed pit beside Jacko Lake as well as its associated tailings ponds and other disturbed areas, would cover 2,500 hectares. Jacko Lake is 40 hectares. The company promises it will protect Jacko Lake from being drained, even as it reroutes Peterson Creek through the pits to a new course down through the City to the river.”

“Jen Fretz, (Kamloops) sustainability and environmental services manager, said a meeting to get the environmental assessment process underway is scheduled April 27. Fretz will attend the meeting. She said the City has not taken a position (on the mine). …She noted a public open house is being scheduled for some time in May, so residents can get more information about the mine’s proposals. …Alex Farquharson, with the Kamloops Fish and Game Club, says…’if you superimpose the City of Kamloops property lines (on the company’s map) more than half of the new pit is inside the City limits’…”

“Getting the necessary environmental permits from the B.C. and federal governments could take two years…”

“The company’s proposal, filed with B.C.’s Environmental Assessment office, can be viewed at http://a100.gov.bc.ca/appsdata/epic/html/deploy/epic_project_home_362.html.”