Residents ‘say no’ to mining

Sperrin Mountain
Sperrin Mountain

Residents opposed to mining in the Sperrin mountains were due to hold a public meeting on Tuesday night in Lissan Parish Hall to discuss recent developments.

Anti-mining groups including recently formed Cookstown Against Mining and Lissan Anti-Mining Group - are concerned that people in the Feegarron and Lissan areas are not fully aware of the potential impact mining will have in their communities.

A spokesperson said despite Dalradian recently announcing that it will remove cyanide from the operation of its proposed site, other potential environmental impacts “are yet to be given the much-needed attention they deserve”.

Mid Ulster District Council recently revoked a proposal to develop 12 bore holes for the drilling of precious base minerals following lobbying by residents and community organisations.

The spokesperson said Dalradian may accuse the community groups of scaremongering over environmental concerns, but it is simply highlighting the truth.

She added that there’s a long journey ahead but “community spirit, resourcefulness and resilience is undeniable and unbreakable.”

In response, a spokesperson for Dalradian said: “Over the past decade Dalradian has invested over £115m to develop a safe project that will bring major economic benefits to County Tyrone at a time of economic uncertainty.

“Modern mining works in tandem with both the environment and local communities, and our proposals are subject to a robust planning process; we are also supporting a public inquiry to provide a further level of expert scrutiny.

“As a new industry to Northern Ireland we understand that people have questions about the project and we are open to discuss what is involved. People are welcome to contact our Community Relations team directly on 028 8164 8012 or visit us online at Facebook or via our website for more information.

“We have invited local groups opposed to the proposals to meet, but unfortunately they have not yet availed of the opportunity. If they did so they would better understand the project and not repeat unsubstantiated claims or inaccuracies, such as the claim that the scheme includes a smelting process.”