Experts to advise Kamloops, B.C. on proposed mine’s potential health effects

How would mine affect health? Experts to weigh in

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — Councillors in Kamloops, B.C., have called on experts to advise them on any health effects of a controversial gold and copper mine proposed for the outskirts of the city.

Council voted unanimously to invite regional medical health officer Kamran Golmohammadi and air quality meteorologist Ralph Adams to present their findings on the mine that is opposed by local First Nations and environmentalists.

Golmohammadi is leading a health assessment of the project, while Adams is evaluating its effects on air quality in the city.

The presentations are scheduled to take place at a special council meeting on June 22.

Coun. Ken Christian said he wants the public to hear from medical officials, not only engineers, about the mine’s potential health effects.

Councillors also decided to stage a town hall meeting on June 19 to allow residents to hear from SLR Consulting, which is conducting a $500,000 review of the mine’s environmental application on behalf of the city.

“We’ve done a great job so far of incorporating the public into these discussions,” said Coun. Denis Walsh, who made the motion for another session. “I think it’s only natural that on an item this important to our city, we would give them that opportunity.”

The decision for a town hall came after local residents called for another chance to question SLR Consulting in a venue larger than council chambers.

Representatives from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the Tk’emlups and Skeetchestn First Nations, who have rejected the proposed mine, have been invited to the meeting.

Councillors were expected to hold another special meeting on July 17 to decide on a response to the project.

The Ajax mine proposed by KGHM International has been under consideration since 2006.

The company has said it is committed to not discharging any waste water into the environment. (Kamloops This Week)

Andrea Klassen, Kamloops This Week, The Canadian Press

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