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Sperrin mine project heads for public inquiry

Words: Roger Milne
Sperrin Mountains / Shutterstock_96740506

Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon has confirmed that a public inquiry will be held into the planning application for the Dalradian mine project in the Sperrin Mountains.

The proposals for a site at Greencastle, County Tyrone, were submitted to the department back in November 2017. Revised plans, including the complete removal of the original intention to treat some waste with cyanide, were lodged in September 2019.

The scheme, the subject of the most voluminous application ever put forward in the province, has divided communities in the area and triggered thousands of objections.

Mallon said: “The application has proved to be complex and in excess of 40,000 representations have now been submitted to my department about the mine proposal. The planning application includes an assessment of the potential socio-economic and environmental impacts by a wide range of expert consultees.” 

She added: “Once I am satisfied that all necessary detail and consultee responses have been provided, I will move to call the public inquiry to allow for robust scrutiny of the application in a public forum.”

The Canadian-based company welcomed the minister’s announcement of a public inquiry into the company’s planning application “for an underground gold, silver and copper mine in County Tyrone”. 

“We believe this is a key milestone in the planning process of a regionally significant project which will be a major economic opportunity for Northern Ireland,” it said. 

Dalradian has stated that the project would see the creation of around 1,000 “direct and indirect” jobs during the mine’s lifespan of 20 to 25 years. 

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DfI caught up in gold mine conflict-of-interest wrangle

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