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Tanya Jones calls for halt to granting mining licences by the back door

Friday November 10 2017

Green Party deputy leader Tanya Jones says than 1,500 people have signed a petition urging the Department for the Economy not to grant mining licences by the back door during the current political impasse.

The Green Party representative for Fermanagh and South Tyrone said there is deep concern after the Department stated its intention of issuing two mineral prospecting licences for the area.

The Department has said it will issue a licence to Flintridge Resources allowing it to prospect for base metals in an area south of Castlederg.

It also intends to issue a licence to Karelian Diamond Resources allowing it to prospect for diamonds and base metals across a large area of Fermanagh and Tyrone, including Brookeborough, Fivemiletown and part of Tempo.

The Green Party deputy leader said the Department had done little more than the minimum amount of consultation required by the original legislation.

“I am concerned that local people are being denied an opportunity to participate in this decision making process. The powers granted to the Department, which it can pass onto a licensee, are extremely broad,” she said

“The potential effects of mining on human and animal health, habitats and our fragile natural world are huge. We should be afforded an opportunity to express our concerns through full participation and consultation.

“We know mineral extraction is globally one of the most damaging industries there is and we don’t know what the impact is going to be.

“There are so many unknowns associated with this type of mining. The most basic details are missing from these proposals. We do not know which base metals will be sought, or which locations within the wide licence areas will be targeted.”

The Green Party representative said more than 1,500 people have signed the petition, and there is widespread local opposition to the department’s plans.

“As with the fracking industry, it is very unlikely that there would be any substantial number of jobs available for local people. On the contrary, bringing such a destructive industry into the area is likely to result in a net loss of jobs and livelihoods due to the damage to the core sectors of agriculture, tourism and food production,” she said.

“With the Frack-Free campaign, we found the number of jobs promised at the beginning very quickly decreased. The skilled workers were to be brought in from elsewhere and what jobs were left were short term, unskilled and low paid – not the kind of jobs we want to build the prosperity of the area on.

“People are also concerned that with no Executive or Assembly in place, these licences will be issued and overseen by civil servants, allowing no ministerial responsibility, no scrutiny by the Stormont committees and no opportunity for the MLAs to ask questions on behalf of their constituents.”

 

END 

Media 

Linda Stewart

07594 391264

 

CAPTION: Green Party deputy leader Tanya Jones hands in petition to the Department of the Economy today. More than 1,500 people have signed the petition, which calls on the Department not to grant mining licences by the back door during the current political impasse.