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Anti-gold mine campaigners to hold Sperrin conference protest

Opponents of a planned gold mine in Co Tyrone are planning to hold a protest at a meeting to consider the future of the Sperrin Mountains this week
Connla Young

Anti-gold mine campaigners are set to protest at a conference to promote tourism in the Sperrin Mountains.

Mid-Ulster District Council, which is helping to organise the event along with three other local authorities, has refused to reveal who has been invited to the event in Cookstown on Wednesday.

Up to 80 delegates are expected to attend the three-day event which organisers say will draw “together a range of people, from the community, voluntary, public and private sectors, who have a stake in the future of the Sperrins”.

Campaigners claim that gold mining firm Dalradian has been invited to attend the ‘Future Search’ conference while they have not.

The Canadian firm has plans to mine for gold in the Sperrins and intends to build a processing plant in Greencastle, near Omagh.

A spokesman for Greencastle Community Voices said members will hold a protest.

"If rate payers are funding this they should have the decency to make them aware of who is representing them." he said.

A spokeswoman for Mid-Ulster District Council said the event has been organised to “ensure a balanced representation of stakeholders”.

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