MiningWatch Canada says Québec lawsuit could impact Ajax

By James Peters
October 21, 2016 - 2:48pm

KAMLOOPS — A Canadian mining industry watchdog is advising Kamloops residents to pay close attention to a class action lawsuit launched in Québec.

Residents of Malartic are suing the owners of the community's nearby open pit mine for 70 million dollars, claiming impacts of dust, noise and vibration caused by blasting.

Ugo Lapointe of MiningWatch Canada says the mine's proximity to Malartic is similar to what Kamloops would see with the proposed KGHM-Ajax mine.

Lapointe says the company doesn't appear ready for a lawsuit.

"We don't see any costing on the part of KGHM-Ajax to take into account compensation that, in our opinion, will need to be put forward to community members that will be affected by the Ajax mine. Patricularly those that are closer to the mine site, those in the Aberdeen area," said Lapointe.

Lapointe says the law firm representing Malartic residents is the same one that won a multi-billion dollar class action suit against tobacco companies in Québec.

"[The mine in Malartic has] admitted that they do have an impact on community members. They have admitted that the dust and the noise and the blasting do create damages to the people, and as such the company has itself put on the table a compensation and relocation package for community members."

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