Legal challenge to gold mine waste storage

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A legal challenge is to be mounted over plans surrounding a gold mine in Co Tyrone.

It will be brought at the High Court in June by residents who claim to be directly affected by mining company Dalradian’s proposal to construct a processing plant and waste storage facility near Gortin.

Dalradian believed the development in the Sperrins area would create hundreds of jobs if given the green light but some local residents felt the consultation process was flawed.

Greencastle, Rouskey, Gortin  (GRG) Concerned Community group spokesman Martin Conway said: “We have a huge level of support from residents and community representatives who feel the same way.

“The fact that the High Court has granted leave for a judicial review shows how seriously this is being taken.”

The court action surrounds a pre-planning application consultation process carried out by Dalradian.

It alleged: “The Department for Infrastructure failed to have regard to material considerations including substantive flaws in the pre-application community consultation process when deciding not to decline to determine the planning application.”

The project has proved controversial and divided opinion in Co Tyrone.

Environmental protesters have campaigned against it, but other local people were supportive because of the job potential and the impact of a community fund established by the firm.

Two mining finance groups have promised multi-million pound backing of around £46 million if planning and regulatory approvals are granted.

An initial exploration project at the Curraghinalt site near Gortin, which currently supports more than 100 jobs, has identified millions of ounces of gold.

A statement from Dalradian on Thursday said: “Dalradian is aware, as a notice party, of the legal challenge of a decision by the Department for Infrastructure.

“The company will comment on any material developments if, as or when they arise.”

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