Sinn Féin economy and climate spokesperson Caoimhe Archibald has written to the Minister for Economy and Minister for Infrastructure to call for action on concerns about gold mining.
Caoimhe Archibald said:
“Over the past few years there have been concerns raised and community opposition to gold mining, and specifically the planning application by Dalradian Gold Ltd. to carry out exploration and mining.
“Sinn Féin’s position is that there should be a public inquiry on the planning application by Dalradian Gold Ltd due to its complex and controversial nature and the need to consider the views of stakeholders, including the local community.
“The regulatory framework for mineral licensing should be reviewed and amended with any future licensing system ensuring the highest standards of environmental protection.
“There should be a moratorium on the granting of any new prospecting licences for precious minerals, or renewal of existing licenses until the regulatory framework for licensing has been reviewed and amended.
“I have written to the Minister for Infrastructure to call for a public inquiry on the planning application by Dalradian Gold Ltd for a gold mine and related infrastructure in the Sperrins.
“I have also written to the Minister for Economy to ask that she review the framework for mineral licensing and in the meantime place a moratorium on the issuing of mineral prospecting licences.
“We need to protect our natural heritage and environment for future generations and any economic development must be considered in that context.”