Thursday, July 26, 2018

Kilcullen woman fights against cyanide gold processing in Omagh

The area where the gold processing is planned.
A woman raised in Kilcullen is one of the leaders in a community fight to stop proposed gold mining near her longtime home town of Omagh, Co Tyrone, writes Brian Byrne.

Marella Fyffe (daughter of the late Tommy and Carmel Byrne ... and your editor's cousin), is a founder member of the Cooperate Against Mining In Omagh group (CAMIO), set up following investigative drilling by the Canadian company Dalradian Gold Ltd near a local reservoir and feeder stream at Greencastle.

The CAMIO group became aware of the drilling on 1 July, and since then have launched a Facebook and public meetings campaign to raise opposition to Dalradian's planning application for a £750m gold mine and ore processing plant.

Apart from the environmental impact on an exceptionally scenic part of Ireland, the campaigners are specifically concerned that processing will use cyanide to extract the gold from the ore — a system that has been banned in many parts of the world, including some American states.

They also have worries that the drilling itself will impact on local water courses and aquifers, contaminating the reservoir that provides most of Omagh with water. And they believe the result of the application has ramifications for other areas. "The Greencastle application will likely be used as a test case for the rest of Northern Ireland. This is only the beginning. Other areas potentially affected by gold mining include Strabane, Newtownstewart, Cookstown, Drumquin, Kildress and Ballymoney."

The campaign is urgently focussing on getting objection letters to the local planning authority into the planning file.

Kilcullen Diary Policy on Photographs. Kilcullen Diary Privacy Policy.