Government of Canada Announces Decision on Ajax Mine Project

News release

June 27, 2018—Ottawa—Natural Resources Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to sustainable growth in the minerals and metals industry, and recognizes that a strong economy and a clean environment must go hand in hand.

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, and the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, today announced the Government of Canada has rejected the proposed Ajax Mine project in British Columbia because the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects that cannot be justified in the circumstances.

The Ajax mine proposal would have involved the construction and operation of a conventional open-pit copper and gold mine – located adjacent to Kamloops, B.C. – with an approximate lifespan of 23 years.

The proposal underwent a cooperative environmental assessment process by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office. Today’s decision by the Government of Canada follows an earlier decision by British Columbia to decline to issue the project a provincial environmental assessment certificate.

The decision on the Ajax Mine project reflects the Government of Canada’s Interim Approach and Principles for environmental assessments, which ensure that project decisions are informed by meaningful consultations with Indigenous peoples, public input and scientific evidence, including Indigenous Knowledge, and an assessment of greenhouse gas emissions.


“Like all major projects, our decision on the Ajax Mine project was based on sound scientific evidence, consultations with Indigenous peoples and engagement with Canadians. We evaluated this project proposal carefully and ultimately determined that the project should not proceed.”

Jim Carr
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“Our Government has consistently said that decisions such as these must factor in both the economy and potential impacts to our environment. Our rigorous and cooperative environmental assessment process determined the environmental effects were simply too great, in particular, to the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by Indigenous peoples. This decision was made based on sound science, consultations with Indigenous peoples and engagement with Canadians.”

Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

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