Canadian Company, Dalradian, proposes to establish a gold mining ‘camp’ on the Green Road in Greencastle, Omagh, Co Tyrone, Ireland. It will involve: a mine 1,000 metres deep; a cyanide processing plant; a toxic waste dump bigger than the whole of Greencastle Village(including Maryville); several poisonous tailings ponds; a huge tunnel through Crockanboy Hill (5m x 5m) and other infrastructure. Mining companies such as Dalradian are willing to spend millions of dollars and make endless promises to obtain this ‘social licence’. They send agents (Community Liaison Officers) into the area to befriend people, bringing gifts to get people on side eg. Dalradian have given out £126,000 in ‘gifts’ to groups, clubs and organisations in order to ‘buy’ their support or silence. However, in doing this, they have caused divisions within communities and families.
Underground exploration began in 2014 and now the Canadian firm wants to locate a mine and processing plant within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) located in the Sperrin Mountains.In recent years residents have voiced concern about the potential impact the mining project may have on the environment.
Cormac McAleer from the Save Our Sperrins campaign group said many people are opposed to the plan.
“Local people are waiting with some dread about the actual detail of the Dalradian proposal to be finalised,” he said. “In the meantime people want to see the interests of the local population and environment come ahead of the profits of the Canadian (company).” He added that the concerns go beyond the potential use of cyanide and include the impact of dust and noise on people living in the district.
Dalradian has held several meetings with residents in Greecastle, Gortin and the hamlet of Rousky, which sits between the two, to outline their plans.
Under planning laws it is required to carry out consultation prior to submitting an application, which the firm expects to be lodged in the next autumn (2016).