MLA calls for public inquiry on Greencastle gold mine

Dalradian Gold held a consultation at their Camcosy Road site
Dalradian Gold held a consultation at their Camcosy Road site

The Infrastructure Minister has been asked to hold a public inquiry into plans for a gold mine in Greencastle by party colleague and MLA for West Tyrone, Declan McAleer.

Mr McAleer said plans for a mine and processing facility 1,200 metres from a primary school has "caused widespread concern".

He also said Greencastle residents "are deeply dissatisfied that the company did not host a public consultation in Greencastle village".

Calling on Chris Hazzard to hold a public consultation on Dalradian Gold's plans, he said: "This proposal, particularly the plan to construct a large scale processing plant using cyanide has caused widespread concern among the community.

"The proposed plant is only 1200 meters from the local primary school and GAA pavilion and people are deeply dissatisfied that the company did not host a public consultation in Greencastle village which is more accessible than the consultation they held in their plant on Camcosy Road.

"This deterred a lot of people from attending the event and I have spoken to people who did attend and they were disappointed by the level of information they received. Most reported that they did not get their questions answered.

"In light of fears about the impact of this proposal on public health and the environment, combined with the strong opinion that people cannot get satisfactory answers from the company involved and the unprecedented nature of this proposal, I believe that a public inquiry is necessary."

Greencastle residents have long been calling for a consultation in their village.

Dalradian had planned one at Rouskey - which is further from the proposed mine site - but this was cancelled by the community centre's board.

Dalradian then moved last weekend's two consultations to their own site on Camcosy Road.

"As a consequence of the interest" police attended to "ensure that any protest is peaceful and those that wish to attend the event are free to do so".

Speaking on behalf of Dalradian, Dr Anne Monaghan director of stakeholder engagement, said: "Dalradian commenced the consultation process in January when we held five consultation events.

"We recently held two further consultation events with over 270 people attending. The purpose of these most recent events was to present further information on the project, including the Environmental Impact Assessment, and to seek feedback.

"That feedback is important and will be considered in the Pre-Application Community Consultation Report (PACC) to be lodged with our planning application.

"For those unable to attend the Public Information Events we would encourage you to review our plans online at: www.dalradianni.com where you can provide feedback. Once the planning application is submitted there is another opportunity for people to give their views on the proposals."