Northern Ireland

Gold mine firm Dalradian calls in lawyers over PSNI security bill

A marked PSNI car pictured at the Dalradian mine site near Greencastle last year
A marked PSNI car pictured at the Dalradian mine site near Greencastle last year

DALRADIAN Gold has said it does not believe the PSNI has the authority to force it to pay a £400,000 bill for security at a mine in the Sperrin mountains.

The Canadian firm’s managing director Brian Kelly confirmed it has drafted in lawyers after being hit with an invoice for £397,000 for escorting explosives.

"The police are consulting their lawyers and we are consulting ours because we do not believe that the legislation is correct, that they could charge us and other operators,” he said.

Mr Kelly said the PSNI decides the level of security provided.

“We have a very positive working relationship with the police, we find them responsible in dealing with ourselves and the risks as they would see it,” he said.

“But we have not asked for police coverage. If the police turn around tomorrow and say we are going to do x y or z they notify us, that’s it, it’s a police matter.”

He added that police are “not protecting the company, they are protecting the public”.

Superintendent Phil Knox said: "Cost recovery has been initiated. We have issued a number of invoices. Liaison with the company and legal discussions are ongoing and as such, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

The Irish News has revealed that the cost of policing the controversial goldmine totalled almost £440,000 between August last year and June this year.

Some residents are opposed to the mine and plans to build to build a processing plant that will use cyanide to extract gold.

Dalradian has insisted the use of cyanide is highly regulated and the plant will minimise impacts on the environment and wildlife.