A legal bid to stop underground work at a Co Tyrone goldmine has failed.
However, William Donnelly, who mounted the challenge, said he may appeal the ruling.
Mining has been carried out at the site by Omagh Minerals, a subsidiary of Canadian firm Galantas Gold Corporation.
In 2015 the then Minister, Mark H Durkan, gave the green light to the extended project.
Planning permission was granted for underground work at the existing mine on the basis of compliance with strict environmental conditions.
At the time Mr Durkan said these would include progressive restoration of the above ground site to ensure the protection and enhancement of habitat.
Lawyers for the Department insisted work was covered by previous planning approval obtained more than 20 years ago.
Dismissing the challenge, the judge said the department had acted assiduously in complying with the various regulations.
Afterwards Mr Donnelly said: “I would like to make you aware that I have to properly consider this decision and may wish to appeal it.”