03/11/2015 04:52 EDT | Updated 05/11/2015 05:59 EDT

Ajax mine could hit Kamloops property values: professor Sean McGuinness

Sean McGuinness, an associate professor of mathematics at Thompson Rivers University, is worried the Ajax mine could hurt property values in Kamloops — cutting the worth of properties close to the mine by up to 30 per cent.

"What is known about open pit mines and real estate values? Actually very little is known that I could find," he told Daybreak Kamloops' Shelley Joyce.

McGuinness began to search online, and found a study by U.S researcher Dianne Hite that looked at the impact of a gravel pit in Delaware County, Ohio in the mid-90s.

Hite found the houses closest to the mine dropped up to 30 per cent in value, and houses three miles away saw a 4.9 per cent reduction.

"When you tell somebody there's going to be a 5 per cent reduction in property value, they kind of shrug their shoulders, but when you say if it's a house that's worth $400,000, that's a $20,000 drop in property value," he said.

"Most people, their nest egg, a large part of it, is their house."

McGuinness wants to see a comprehensive, third party analysis, that would probe further into how the mine would affect housing.

To hear the full interview with Sean McGuinness, click the audio labelled: TRU professor questions impact of Ajax mine.