Regarding the proposed Ajax mine, we are writing to suggest that people remain open minded before jumping to conclusions as to whether or not this proposed major mining project will be beneficial to our community.
We, the undersigned, are a group of concerned friends who meet regularly. We are all retired, from various careers, living off of our pensions or our savings. We are proud long-term residents of Kamloops and some of us live in the Aberdeen area of the city, not far from the proposed mine location.
Like many residents, we've been asking how this ore body will be developed, the effects it will have on the immediate and surrounding area and about the methods that will be used to minimize any negative effect this type of industrial development will have on the environment and on our lives. We understand that environmental studies by the partners in this project are ongoing; an information pamphlet is being prepared by Ajax to be distributed to all readers of this newspaper in the very near future.
The partners in Ajax (Abacus and KGHM) are continuing to examine the economics of the project.
No one in our group has been directly involved in mining and we can only imagine the difficulty in projecting the economics of a development this size. But we only have to look around the Kamloops region to understand the economic benefits of mining to our community.
Highland Valley (Teck), the old Afton mine, and New Gold coming into production this year are but three examples of mines which have been provided many well-paid jobs and huge economic benefits to Kamloops and area. These companies have also been excellent corporate citizens providing generous donations to TRU, the United Way, RIH, as well as paying municipal taxes.
In fact, Ajax is expected to be included within the boundaries of the City of Kamloops in due course, and has projected that they will pay about $4 million per year in municipal taxes.
As far as investors are concerned, many of us in the Kamloops area already or soon will be collecting pensions from CPP, BCGEU, BCTF and other company/union programs. These large pension funds hold a wide variety of investments, which are intended to provide us with our income after we retire.
For example, the CPP owns shares in all of the major companies in Canada including banks, communications, food, real estate, pipelines, oil sands companies and mining companies.
All human, industrial and recreational activity has an effect on the environment, but regulations are in place to maintain a balance.
In conclusion, we would ask our friends, our neighbours, our business associates and all those interested in the proposed Ajax mining project to remain calm, and wait until we have all the facts before making a final decision on whether or not this mine would proceed into production. We will be attending public meetings in the future and hope that you do also.
BUD OAKLEY, GENE LEDUC, JACK READY, RON HUNT, HANS DORRIUS, SANDY McCURRACH, GORDON DOUGLAS, PETE NETHERWAY, DON MUNRO, DEAN McLEAN
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