Fight against ‘toxic mining’

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Derry Trades’ Union Council has thrown its support behind campaign group Save Our Sperrins (SOS) in its fight to stop “toxic gold mining”.

And they are urging its members to write to the Planning Authority to oppose the proposal.

A delegation from SOS made a presentation to the council at its recent monthly meeting on the impact the mining will have on the north west region.

“The presentation by the SOS campaign was delivered on the same week as one of the largest grassroots environmental gatherings ever held in the North West to raise awareness and concerns of the urgency needed to protect our land, water and air for future generations to come,” the council said in a statement.

“The environmental implications that toxic gold mining will have upon all workers, their families and wider communities must be a concern for the entire trade union movement and a united effort to protect our water, air, land and health from the toxic pollution of goldmining.

“When we examine the Dalradian 10,000 page Planning Application of November 2017 we are in reality looking at the devastation of an location of outstanding natural beauty such as Owenkillew & Owenreagh Rivers, Drumlea & Mullan Woods, Black Bog, Green Road and other Archaeological sites.

“The proposed Dalradian Gold Mine site will encompass Crockanboy Hill overlooking the village of Greencastle, Primary School, Playgroup, Church, Community Centre & Playing Fields. All in area which is also registered as having high radon levels will be subjected to Gold Mining which involves blasting the rock with explosives, drilling & machine work to remove vast amounts of rock.

“Waste rock from gold mining when exposed to air and water produces ‘acid water’ which strips out other embedded heavy metals, mine waste (rock + tailings) contains dangerous chemicals including arsenic, lead, mercury, petroleum by-products and cyanide. It is estimated that in the proposed sites of Dalradian’s toxic gold mine, the waste accumulated into a toxic mountain will be the size of 220 x Guildhall, 80 x Millenium Forum, 40 x Richmond Centre or 14 x Foyleside.”

Dalradian said in a recent statement that it is committed to meeting and exceeding all environmental and regulatory standards and believe the project will bring econonically transformative benefits to the local community and Northern Ireland, including 1,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs and a $1bn spend on the project’s supply chain over it 20-25 year lifespan.