More than 10,000 people object to Tyrone mine
An "unprecedented" 10,000 objections have been lodged against a plan to build a goldmine in the Sperrin Mountains.
Plans to develop a mine at Greencastle, Co Tyrone, were submitted by Canadian mining company Dalradian Gold in 2017.
The multinational mining company also wants to build a plant that will use cyanide to extract gold from ore that has been mined in the area.
Some local people are bitterly opposed to the proposal on health and environmental grounds while the company insists the project will be safe and will create jobs.
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It has now emerged that more than 13,000 responses have been received by planner,s including 10,433 objections and 2,773 letters of support.
Director of environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth NI, James Orr said that while in the past there have been large numbers of objections for other projects, these would have included petitions.
“These are individual objections and that’s what makes the letter writing unprecedented,” he said.
“This marks a moment in time we have never had before, I think it’s fair to say that.
“There are more than 10,000 people prepared to write their individual objections.”
Mr Orr said that there “is no need for gold to extracted anywhere in Northern Ireland” as there is sufficient gold in the world to meet current industrial need for 175 years.
A spokesman for Dalradian said gold and silver have a “wide range of applications”.
“We are committed to meeting and exceeding all environmental and regulatory standards, and believe the project will bring economically transformative benefits to the local community and Northern Ireland.
“This will include 1,000, direct, indirect and induced jobs, and a $1bn spend on the project’s supply chain over its 20-25 year lifespan.”