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Green Party deputy leader Tanya Jones is deeply disappointed over mining licence

Monday December 4 2017

Green Party Deputy Leader Tanya Jones said she is deeply disappointed to learn that the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment in Dublin has granted a prospecting licence for an area of County Cavan bordering County Fermanagh.

The licence has been granted to BMEx Pty. Ltd of  Queensland, Australia and is for barytes, base metals, gold and silver.

A director of the company was quoted in the Anglo Celt newspaper as saying, “We have focused our efforts on identifying ground highly prospective for zinc, copper and likely ancillary metals, lead, silver, cobalt etc., in favourable mining-friendly jurisdictions.

Tanya Jones said: “As with the licences proposed for Fermanagh and Tyrone, the authorities have carried out minimal notification, falling far short of the rights of the public to access environmental information and to participate in decision-making processes.

“Those rights, granted to us by the Aarhus Convention in 1998, are not limited to those who actually live in the licence area, but also to all those who may be affected by mineral prospecting activities.

“Pollution knows no borders, neither hard nor soft.  At a time when our future is so uncertain, with a looming Brexit and the failure of the DUP and Sinn Fein to form an executive and restore the Assembly, it is especially important that we work together to protect our health, wellbeing, livelihoods and landscapes.

“Politicians and civil servants on both sides of the border, especially those with specific responsibility for our environment, should be listening to local people who know and love the land around them.

“When a jurisdiction is described as ‘mining-friendly’, alarm bells should be ringing.

“Globally, mineral extraction is one of the most polluting and destructive industries on the earth.  While there are fortunes to be made, few of them benefit local communities, which are likely to become mere sacrifice zones.

“In Cavan and Fermanagh our future prosperity depends upon sectors such as sustainable farming, eco-tourism and high quality food production.  All of these absolutely depend upon a clean and unspoiled environment,” she said.

ENDS

Linda Stewart

028 9052 1141

07594 391264