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There has been a lot of controversy ever since the Ajax mine project was announced in Kamloops a few years back.

This project could bring a few hundred high paying jobs to the area and be a healthy source of tax revenue for the city for 20+ years.

As the environmental review, a PR campaign and red tape is navigated by the company(KGHM International), the people of Kamloops are forming opinions.

Bumper stickers are popping up: “I support AJAX”(mostly on large jacked up trucks) by those who would like a mine job or “Stop AJAX” are now a common sight.

The opponents of the mine have long decried the health and development cost of a mine being close to the city.

Now there are numbers to back up the claims, in a report by a retired doctor and a retired university professor released last week.

In the press conferences, both authors acknowledged the data they present is not facts, but “estimates”. The news coverage has been entertaining to say the least.

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Photos like this accompany articles that quote the authors making conflicting statements: “We’re dealing with absolute hard science,” he notes, adding: “Some of the minor conclusions are perspective… “. (Read the article for a link to the report and see for yourself.)

The report has false and misleading statements as outlined in this article:
– KGHM is the worst polluter in Europe
– international students enrollment will drop(When asked who “suggested” there would be a five per cent decline, Blawatt said the figure was arrived at by discussions with various people — but not with Thompson Rivers University itself.)

No wonder the comment sections are speaking about dementia, NIMBY attitude, the authors enjoying government pensions/hating private industry, and bias. In fact, the authors freely admit they “were seeking was information to support their belief Ajax will be bad for Kamloops.”

“Not In My Back Yard” has been the reaction of a small group who are very vocal opponents of the mine, and this latest report has unfortunately further discredited their position.

This vocal position however has resulting in a least one good thing: AJAX plans have been changed to lessen the environmental impact and Kamloops will get a second public hearing before the government makes a decision on development.

KGHM is heavily invested in the project now, with millions spent so far, and with 80% equity in the project, and they are unlikely to give up easily.

Whatever the outcome, from a real estate investment standpoint, why should you or I care?

What does this mean for Kamloops real estate investors?

1. If the mine is approved, there will be thousands of construction jobs, then ~500 high paying jobs for 20 years. The inflow of people to Kamloops will accelerate the upward pressure on rents and prices.

It would be wise to purchase investment property before construction starts.

2. If the mine is NOT approved, will the economy stagnate?

Nope.

As detailed extensively on this blog, Kamloops has many major employers, increasing population, and all the economic fundamentals for an increase in rents/property values.

My most recent purchase produces cashflow over $10,000/year for a $70,000 investment. That’s 14% ROI, not including mortgage pay down or and future increase in value!

If you have found a way to make over 14% on your money, please let me know!

If not, then now is the time to buy Kamloops Real Estate 🙂

Until next time,

Stay S.A.F.E.