Sierra Club: Klamath Open Pit Mine Raises Health Concerns

June 25, 2014

Kamloops open-pit mine raises health concerns — Sierra Club BCKamloops open-pit mine raises health concerns

Last Modified: Dec 20, 2012

Kamloops open-pit mine raises health concerns

Photo: Dave Dyet, sxc.hu

Noise and dust from blasting and crushing gold and copper ore at the proposed Ajax mine could soon shatter the tranquil beauty of fragile grasslands, salmon-bearing streams and thriving family ranches in the Kamloops area.

Less typically, the blasting and pollution would be equally felt, heard and inhaled by schoolchildren, homeowners and hospital patients in downtown Kamloops. Dust from the open-pit mine and two waste rock facilities towering up to 500 feet in the air may be blown by the prevailing southwest wind directly over the schools, the houses of Aberdeen and Pineview Valley neighbourhoods, and over the city.

Kamloops physicians are overwhelmingly concerned about potential health impacts. According to a poll conducted in November by three Kamloops doctors among their colleagues, 84 per cent said they were concerned about the potential health impacts of the mine on the people of Kamloops. More than one third said they would leave town if the mine goes ahead.

Watch the video “Is this the future of Kamloops?” by Concerned Citizens of Kamloops.

Potential environmental issues boggle the mind. The mine would be among the largest in Canada, covering approximately 45 square kilometres of what is now unique and endangered grassland. The proposed east waste rock facility is located above the aquifer of Peterson Creek which runs through the city and empties into the Thompson River, whose world-famous salmon run would potentially be affected by toxic drainage from the waste rock.

Could it possibly get any worse? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. The existing Kinder Morgan pipeline (itself subject to a controversial expansion proposal) bisects the proposed mine site, looping around the western perimeter of the open pit. The environmental and engineering challenges of the two projects converging on this location literally boggle the mind.

What about economic impacts? The risks of investing into a polluting industry prone to boom-and-bust cycles and dependent on metal prices on the global market was recently highlighted by the job losses after the closure of two mines in Merritt. Any short-term job gains brought by the mine would be offset by the long-term losses in sustainable economic activities such as ranching and tourism, which depend on clean water, salmon rivers and pristine landscapes.

A diverse group of ranchers, physicians, former mine employees, and residents of Knutsford and Kamloops, gathered under the umbrella of KAPA (Kamloops Area Protection Association), is working to raise awareness and mobilize the community. Beyond the immediate threats of this particular mine, they are asking the hard questions: how is such a project even possible in B.C.? How come residents have so little say in what impacts their health, their drinking water and the existing economic activities that the community depends on?

“Kamloops a healthy moderate-sized community of 87,000 people with a balanced economy and attractive lifestyle.  It currently attracts both new business and new residents without any mine in its midst,” says KAPA’s DIane Kerr. “If the senior governments can put a mine in Kamloops, no city with even low grade mineral resources like this one will be safe.”

The Ajax proposal puts the spotlight on the archaic laws that govern the mining industry in British Columbia, allowing mining exploration companies easy and preferential access to virtually every corner of our province, even private land.

Virtually unchanged since 1859, the the act is based on the principle of “free entry.” Once a mining claim is made — now possible with the click of a computer mouse through B.C.’s online staking system — the claim creates legal entitlement that supersedes other potential land uses.

Sierra Club BC is calling on the B.C. government to take immediate steps to end this antiquated system. We need to create modern mining legislation that reflects today’s economic and environmental realities. A new act must allow for First Nations and environmental review before  exploration companies are granted legal rights to the land.

Other provinces have shifted away from “free entry” or abolished it altogether. It is time for B.C. and the mining industry to leave the gold rush behind and ensure that the industry is accountable to all British Columbians.

– See more at: http://www.sierraclub.bc.ca/our-work/mining-energy/spotlights/Open-pit-mine-raises-health-concerns#sthash.8jNnRbtA.dpuf

 

 

http://www.sierraclub.bc.ca/our-work/mining-energy/spotlights/Open-pit-mine-raises-health-concerns

 

Kamloops

 

Kamloops open-pit mine raises health concerns

Last Modified: Dec 20, 2012

Kamloops open-pit mine raises health concerns

Photo: Dave Dyet, sxc.hu

Noise and dust from blasting and crushing gold and copper ore at the proposed Ajax mine could soon shatter the tranquil beauty of fragile grasslands, salmon-bearing streams and thriving family ranches in the Kamloops area.

Less typically, the blasting and pollution would be equally felt, heard and inhaled by schoolchildren, homeowners and hospital patients in downtown Kamloops. Dust from the open-pit mine and two waste rock facilities towering up to 500 feet in the air may be blown by the prevailing southwest wind directly over the schools, the houses of Aberdeen and Pineview Valley neighbourhoods, and over the city.

Kamloops physicians are overwhelmingly concerned about potential health impacts. According to a poll conducted in November by three Kamloops doctors among their colleagues, 84 per cent said they were concerned about the potential health impacts of the mine on the people of Kamloops. More than one third said they would leave town if the mine goes ahead.

Watch the video “Is this the future of Kamloops?” by Concerned Citizens of Kamloops.

Potential environmental issues boggle the mind. The mine would be among the largest in Canada, covering approximately 45 square kilometres of what is now unique and endangered grassland. The proposed east waste rock facility is located above the aquifer of Peterson Creek which runs through the city and empties into the Thompson River, whose world-famous salmon run would potentially be affected by toxic drainage from the waste rock.

Could it possibly get any worse? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. The existing Kinder Morgan pipeline (itself subject to a controversial expansion proposal) bisects the proposed mine site, looping around the western perimeter of the open pit. The environmental and engineering challenges of the two projects converging on this location literally boggle the mind.

What about economic impacts? The risks of investing into a polluting industry prone to boom-and-bust cycles and dependent on metal prices on the global market was recently highlighted by the job losses after the closure of two mines in Merritt. Any short-term job gains brought by the mine would be offset by the long-term losses in sustainable economic activities such as ranching and tourism, which depend on clean water, salmon rivers and pristine landscapes.

A diverse group of ranchers, physicians, former mine employees, and residents of Knutsford and Kamloops, gathered under the umbrella of KAPA (Kamloops Area Protection Association), is working to raise awareness and mobilize the community. Beyond the immediate threats of this particular mine, they are asking the hard questions: how is such a project even possible in B.C.? How come residents have so little say in what impacts their health, their drinking water and the existing economic activities that the community depends on?

“Kamloops a healthy moderate-sized community of 87,000 people with a balanced economy and attractive lifestyle.  It currently attracts both new business and new residents without any mine in its midst,” says KAPA’s DIane Kerr. “If the senior governments can put a mine in Kamloops, no city with even low grade mineral resources like this one will be safe.”

The Ajax proposal puts the spotlight on the archaic laws that govern the mining industry in British Columbia, allowing mining exploration companies easy and preferential access to virtually every corner of our province, even private land.

Virtually unchanged since 1859, the the act is based on the principle of “free entry.” Once a mining claim is made — now possible with the click of a computer mouse through B.C.’s online staking system — the claim creates legal entitlement that supersedes other potential land uses.

Sierra Club BC is calling on the B.C. government to take immediate steps to end this antiquated system. We need to create modern mining legislation that reflects today’s economic and environmental realities. A new act must allow for First Nations and environmental review before  exploration companies are granted legal rights to the land.

Other provinces have shifted away from “free entry” or abolished it altogether. It is time for B.C. and the mining industry to leave the gold rush behind and ensure that the industry is accountable to all British Columbians.

– See more at: http://www.sierraclub.bc.ca/our-work/mining-energy/spotlights/Open-pit-mine-raises-health-concerns#sthash.8jNnRbtA.dpuf

Kamloops open-pit mine raises health concerns

Last Modified: Dec 20, 2012

Kamloops open-pit mine raises health concerns

Photo: Dave Dyet, sxc.hu

Noise and dust from blasting and crushing gold and copper ore at the proposed Ajax mine could soon shatter the tranquil beauty of fragile grasslands, salmon-bearing streams and thriving family ranches in the Kamloops area.

Less typically, the blasting and pollution would be equally felt, heard and inhaled by schoolchildren, homeowners and hospital patients in downtown Kamloops. Dust from the open-pit mine and two waste rock facilities towering up to 500 feet in the air may be blown by the prevailing southwest wind directly over the schools, the houses of Aberdeen and Pineview Valley neighbourhoods, and over the city.

Kamloops physicians are overwhelmingly concerned about potential health impacts. According to a poll conducted in November by three Kamloops doctors among their colleagues, 84 per cent said they were concerned about the potential health impacts of the mine on the people of Kamloops. More than one third said they would leave town if the mine goes ahead.

Watch the video “Is this the future of Kamloops?” by Concerned Citizens of Kamloops.

Potential environmental issues boggle the mind. The mine would be among the largest in Canada, covering approximately 45 square kilometres of what is now unique and endangered grassland. The proposed east waste rock facility is located above the aquifer of Peterson Creek which runs through the city and empties into the Thompson River, whose world-famous salmon run would potentially be affected by toxic drainage from the waste rock.

Could it possibly get any worse? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. The existing Kinder Morgan pipeline (itself subject to a controversial expansion proposal) bisects the proposed mine site, looping around the western perimeter of the open pit. The environmental and engineering challenges of the two projects converging on this location literally boggle the mind.

What about economic impacts? The risks of investing into a polluting industry prone to boom-and-bust cycles and dependent on metal prices on the global market was recently highlighted by the job losses after the closure of two mines in Merritt. Any short-term job gains brought by the mine would be offset by the long-term losses in sustainable economic activities such as ranching and tourism, which depend on clean water, salmon rivers and pristine landscapes.

A diverse group of ranchers, physicians, former mine employees, and residents of Knutsford and Kamloops, gathered under the umbrella of KAPA (Kamloops Area Protection Association), is working to raise awareness and mobilize the community. Beyond the immediate threats of this particular mine, they are asking the hard questions: how is such a project even possible in B.C.? How come residents have so little say in what impacts their health, their drinking water and the existing economic activities that the community depends on?

“Kamloops a healthy moderate-sized community of 87,000 people with a balanced economy and attractive lifestyle.  It currently attracts both new business and new residents without any mine in its midst,” says KAPA’s DIane Kerr. “If the senior governments can put a mine in Kamloops, no city with even low grade mineral resources like this one will be safe.”

The Ajax proposal puts the spotlight on the archaic laws that govern the mining industry in British Columbia, allowing mining exploration companies easy and preferential access to virtually every corner of our province, even private land.

Virtually unchanged since 1859, the the act is based on the principle of “free entry.” Once a mining claim is made — now possible with the click of a computer mouse through B.C.’s online staking system — the claim creates legal entitlement that supersedes other potential land uses.

Sierra Club BC is calling on the B.C. government to take immediate steps to end this antiquated system. We need to create modern mining legislation that reflects today’s economic and environmental realities. A new act must allow for First Nations and environmental review before  exploration companies are granted legal rights to the land.

Other provinces have shifted away from “free entry” or abolished it altogether. It is time for B.C. and the mining industry to leave the gold rush behind and ensure that the industry is accountable to all British Columbians.

– See more at: http://www.sierraclub.bc.ca/our-work/mining-energy/spotlights/Open-pit-mine-raises-health-concerns#sthash.8jNnRbtA.dpuf

– See more at: http://www.sierraclub.bc.ca/our-work/mining-energy/spotlights/Open-pit-mine-raises-health-concerns#sthash.8jNnRbtA.dpuf

 

 

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