Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation rejects Ajax Mine in Kamloops
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March 9, 2017 - 2:48 pm
The Tk’emlups and Skeetchestn bands, collectively known as the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN), has rejected the proposed KGHM Ajax copper and gold mine project.
CFJC-TV reports, "After completing its own environmental review of the project, Chief Fred Seymour said it does not make sense to sacrifice its nations land in and around Jacko Lake for a project that will only span 20-25 years."
Chief Seymour says, "There was a whole lot of work put into the decision. [We are] saying this is a sacred site and it needs to be protected. It is our responsibility to be stewards of our land." He highlighted, "The SNN does not -- I’ll state it again -- does not give its free prior and informed consent to the development of lands known as Pipsell for the purpose of the development of the Ajax mine project."
The Council of Canadians supports the full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which includes Article 19, the right to free, prior and informed consent.
Kamloops This Week notes, "Polish-owned KGHM Ajax wants to open the mine and operate it for about two decades. The company’s land includes Jacko Lake, a popular fishing hole and recreational site and a lake the First Nations call Pipsell and consider sacred. Seymour said the disruption to Pipsell by Ajax -- the mine’s pit would extend into a portion of the lake -- threatens an important cultural site. SSN also raises concerns about loss of traditional-use plants in the project area, game bird habitat loss and an auditor general’s report from last year that stated the province isn’t adequately monitoring or enforcing mining regulations."
The article adds, "The two bands filed a title claim for Jacko Lake and other lands owned by KGHM Ajax in 2015."
As can be seen in the visual above, the mine would be located near Jacko Lake and the associated rerouting of Peterson Creek and the tailings pond could destroy nearby Inks Lake. The company is proposing that a massive pit be dug beside Jacko Lake that would be many times bigger than the lake itself. The mine would be partially located within Kamloops' south east city limits.
The mine was first proposed in late 2011 and the Kamloops chapter has been campaigning against it since early 2012. The provincial government's assessment of the mine was suspended in May 2016.
Brent Patterson's blog
Political Director of the Council of Canadians
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