After reading many articles to the editor on the possible effects of drilling and blasting at the proposed Ajax mine site, I would like to clear up a few things regarding ground vibration and dust.
When the old mine was in operation, water was an issue as all drill holes had to be pumped and lined in order for ammonia nitrate to be used instead of the more expensive emulsion, which does not break down in water.
Due to the large amount of groundwater, the blasted rock created no dust at the waste dumps or when put through the crushing plant, which was set up close to Jacko Lake to produce crushed rock for maintaining the 14-kilometre haul road to the Afton mill site and the two tailings dams where it was used as a filter.
During construction of the haul road, the Trans Canada pipeline had to be crossed and there were no issues with blasting as it was properly monitored. With blasting technology available today, controlling ground vibration is not an issue.
I realize the new proposed operation will be much larger, but if you compare this to other operations being developed today it is average for an open pit in regards to tons mined.
The old mine had some very good engineering people working there and many still live in Kamloops and consult around the world on the same issues KGHM is dealing with. I'm sure they will provide the correct answers when the time comes.
I think City council should take a walk up Victoria Street from the old Rendezvous Hotel right up to 11th Street and take a look at all the commercial space for rent and sale and figure out a way to attract business to this town and not be under some illusion they know something about mining.
Decent paying jobs pay for our medical and education systems. As a 71-year-old senior with 53 years in the mining industry, I support this project.