Thursday, 8 April 2010

Inishowen Environmental Group meeting about mining


From Bev Doherty (IEG)

Dear Inishowen/Derry friend, and others who would have an interest in this matter.
You may be aware that Grosvenor Exploration and Mining Services (Ireland) Limited is to be granted a prospecting licence to search many townlands in Inishowen for minerals such as gold, diamonds and other gems. Please see press articles below.
At the Inishowen Environmental Group's meeting last night we came up with a series of points and questions for the press and individuals.
Please read our statement and if you are concerned.

The Meeting Points

The Inishowen Environmental Group met and agreed a position on the proposed granting of an exploration licence to Grosvenor Mining and Exploration (Ireland) Limited.

The members wish to emphasise that the writing of objections to the Department should be made on an individual basis. While the Government may proceed with the granting of exploration licences despite any objections, the fact that the objections have been made could be important if matters move on to the consideration of granting mining licences. We find it strange that the notice of issue of prospecting licences was not sent to the local Inishowen papers, but now that is to be rectified we have a further 21 days to lodge an objection. We would ask that objections should be informed by an awareness of the following points:

Ø If a licence to explore most of Inishowen is granted, no landowner can legally object to a representative of the company entering his or her land and searching for the presence of minerals, whether they be gems, diamonds or gold;

Ø The ability of exploration individuals to enter onto private land without permission does not extend to digging or trenching or any other form of invasive activity;

Ø We should be told more about this company, as there is a well-documented history of companies in this area fronting other, more contentious companies – and unfortunately this can sometimes mean facilitating the sale of things like “blood diamonds” where diamonds which cannot be legally sold because of their provenance in somewhere like Sierra Leone, can be “found” in another – this time legal – spot, and sold on (present knowledge would indicate that the two directors are Australian, resident in Perth, and with a history of expertise in diamond mining). An almost contemporaneous application for mineral exploration in SW Donegal is being made by Mylitus Mining, whose connections extend ultimately to Ghana, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Liberia and Angola – none of this information is given upfront.

Ø There is at present no map available for consultation in Carndonagh, a legal requirement on the part of the Department.

Ø Why should a repeat exercise in exploring exactly the same townlands as those surveyed in 1997 by Cambridge Mineral Resources through an aerial survey for diamonds be carried out again?

Ø Why did Cambridge Mineral Resources pass on its surveyed material to Moville Minerals Limited in the period 1998 to 2000, but this time not for diamonds, but for gold – without any public announcement, despite the Klondyke type advance notices prior to Cambridge embarking on its aerial survey? We were never told, despite promises, exactly what Cambridge found when they sent their results to Australia for analysis.

Ø Mining for gold is environmentally hazardous in the extreme – is this the real objective behind the exploration?

Ø Does the Department think that the Inishowen road infrastructure, particularly in the small local roads likely to be used, is up to carrying the heavy lorries need to carry away overburden?
Ø What is the position of our local political representatives on this, and if they don’t know, why not? It is difficult for private individuals to inform themselves.

Ø Where does the Green Box thinking enter into the exploitative nature of prospecting and possible mining of a non-essential material, be it diamonds or gold? The emphasis in Inishowen should be on fishing, farming and tourism, not spoiling one of Ireland’s hidden assets. At least one commercial organic farm is situated within one of the listed townlands; would any pollution from mining cause them to lose their organic status?

Ø Has there been an attempt on the part of this company to let local communities know what is involved, and if possible, alleviate their fears? We need only to refer to Donegal County Council’s attempt to impose a landfill site at the top of Glentogher in 1991, using legal tactics, only to be turned down eventually through the insistence of local people that their environment was seriously at risk because of unacknowledged geological instabilities leading to contamination of their water supply for people and animals. A more recent example of lack of transparency, consultation and dialogue in Co Mayo is the government’s handling of the gas pipeline project in Rossport.

Ø If there is the usual offer of jobs, is it not the case that these go to specialised outside people, well-qualified in these fields? We may be in a time of recession, but we can still see through empty promises.

Ø At a time when we should be seriously facing a future without oil and one which must get to grips with climate change, it seems frivolous to explore for diamonds which only the super-rich can buy. Synthetic diamond manufacture can easily supply industry’s needs for diamonds.

Objections should be sent before April 30th to:

Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources,
Beggars Bush,
Haddington Road,
Dublin 4
Phone no: 01-6782668

Press release Bev Doherty 25th April

Meeting about Gold prospecting well attended.

Over 80 people attended a meeting last Friday night in Carrowmenagh to find out why the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources want to grant licences to Grosvenor Mining PLC to search for gold, diamonds and gem minerals in townlands stretching from Malin Head to Lough Foyle.

The meeting, called by concerned residents of the area and chaired by Mary Crumlish was also well attended by local councillors. Apologies were sent by Deputy Cecelia Keaveny, Padraig McLochlainn and Joe McHugh.

Guest speaker Mike Doherty from Glentogher, Carndonagh, outlined the legal procedures involved in prospecting and the rights of landowners to refuse access to prospectors if they wished. A bill has been drawn up allowing farmers to refuse access, but it has not become law yet.

Several short films were shown, one showing the discovery and subsequent mining of gold in Co. Tyrone, just a few miles outside Omagh Town , another contained interviews with landowners in South Africa whose land has been damaged by a local goldmine. One man, who grows vegetables commercially, was told that he wouldn't be able to clean out his irrigation dam because the sediment gathering behind it was radioactive. The mining had displaced uranium particles and he hadn't been informed. Displacement of other minerals often happens with gold mining. In fact, the mine in Omagh has so far produced 1800 times more lead than gold!

Councillors Bernard McGuinness and Mickey Doherty admitted that they knew nothing of the application for licences until they were invited to the meeting, and no-one in the room knew that there were already two licences active in Inishowen, owned by another company.

Councillor Charlie McConalogue again outlined the legalities surrounding the prospecting and mining of gold, saying that he needed to do more research before he could decide if the possibility of a gold mine in Inishowen was a good thing or a bad thing. This view was held by a few, but the vast majority at the meeting agreed that it would be better to avoid a situation where mining could become a reality by urging the government to refuse the licences in the first place.

Mike Doherty cautioned that unless many letters of opposition were sent to the Department, nothing would be done to stop licences being granted. He said that an attempt by residents in South Donegal to stop the issue of licences there failed because the Department only received thirteen individual letters. Apparently petition-style letters sent in by concerned groups didn't count.

Photocopies of basic letter of objection were circulated and more are available by contacting Mary Crumlish at 9381457.Last date objections will be received is May 6th.

You are invited to add your voice to the effort by writing or emailing your objections to the Exploration and Mining Division, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

Beggar's Bush

Haddington Road

Dublin 4

Tel: 01 6782666

Fax: 01-6609627

fiona.mcguinness@dcenr.gov.ie





At start, brief introduction by Mary Crumlish, chairperson, then showing of 2 video clips, allowing people to settle and providing some background information.



a) Short video clip from Overhead Britain (5 mins) on the finding of gold in the Sperrins and the beginning of the Omagh goldmine. Promising announcement of 600,000 oz. of gold in the likely lifetime of the mine, 30,000 oz. per year. This is held on a private copy for which permission was obtained from the maker for the except to be shown. Overall impression: nice, clean business, all good for the people of Northern Ireland .



b) 18 minute downloaded video on Wonderfontein Spruit goldmine experiences. video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6085154693477011286



1. Grosvenor Prospecting Licence Numbers and Midas.jpg



This map shows the numbering of the various Prospecting Licence Areas in Inishowen. Grosvenor Exploration and Mining (Ireland) Limited have applied for a Prospecting Licence in each of PLAs 3586, 3496, 3094, 3062, 3007, 2964 and 3008. This has cost the company €190 for each of the area applications, and if granted, the licences will be valid for 6 years.



The press notice allows for objections to the granting of these licences up to 5th May.



If exploration proves successful for Grosvenor, it may then apply for Mining Licences for any areas in which a successful exploration is carried out.



What you should notice are the 2 PLAs with the word “Midas”, short for Midas Mineral Resources Limited. These cover numbers 3063, 3820. Prospecting Licences were granted to this company last year, unknown to most of us and certainly to me. They have slipped under our radar.



2. Map PLA 3008.jpg



This covers the area in which we are now. The first public information session on this exploration attempt is taking place, because a number of us felt sufficiently alarmed at the total lack of information available either from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, our local authority, the company itself, or indeed from our public representatives. This is an information session. At the end of it, each individual should be able to decide to object or not to the granting of a PL on the basis of sufficient information.



We should be able to demand full disclosure of all information related to the company’s plans and licences provided by the government. The EC directives pertaining to the Arrhus Convention, which Ireland has signed up to in 2001, but not yet ratified – alone of all EC countries – http://ec.europa.eu/environment/aarhus/index.htm



1) emphasise the right of everyone to receive environmental information that is held by public authorities ("access to environmental information"). This can include information on the state of the environment, but also on policies or measures taken, or on the state of human health and safety where this can be affected by the state of the environment. Applicants are entitled to obtain this information within one month of the request and without having to say why they require it. In addition, public authorities are obliged, under the Convention, to actively disseminate environmental information in their possession;



2) the right to participate in environmental decision-making. Arrangements are to be made by public authorities to enable the public affected and environmental non-governmental organisations to comment on, for example, proposals for projects affecting the environment, or plans and programmes relating to the environment, these comments to be taken into due account in decision-making, and information to be provided on the final decisions and the reasons for it ("public participation in environmental decision-making");



3) the right to review procedures to challenge public decisions that have been made without respecting the two aforementioned rights or environmental law in general ("access to justice").



How come Midas got the Prospecting Licences to 2 areas in Inishowen without us knowing?



3. The Company. Grosvenor Exploration & Mining Services ( Ireland ) Limited.pdf [information got by paying privately solocheck.ie]



Not so Irish: the two directors, Mr and Mrs. Spencer, have a residential address in Perth, Australia, and Roy George Stamford Spencer got his BSc degree at Natal University in South Africa in 1971. He has been a director and/or on committees around the world in various diamond mining companies. Their capital of €100k does not seem a large investment, considering that the company has to have adequate insurance cover to protect against claims or mishaps. No telephone number has been given for the company address in Dundalk, Co Louth.



Before moving on to what is involved in exploration licences, I’d like to give a short summary of the various surveys done over the past 20 years in Inishowen. In 1997 we had a flurry of headlines calling Inishowen a possible Klondyke, a promising new source of diamonds and so on. The first company, Cambridge Mineral Resources Plc, did a 2 year aerial survey of 10 PLAs, and pronounced the findings promising enough to have them sent to Australia (or was it Canada ? It’s very hard to pin down the information). Nothing seemed to come of this, until a new (or was it new?) company called Moville Resources – nothing to do with our Moville but a Moville in Australia – obtained 2 PLs for Inishowen, this time looking for gold. They used the data provided by Cambridge ’s research. Their licences ceased 5 years ago.



Bringing us up to date is Midas Minerals’ 2 Prospecting Licences. I can find very little on this company, other than that it has a capital of E10Million, and is based in Galway . The directors appear to be Irish, and their interest is in gold.



And now Grosvenor. We need to know if it is a junior company that is looking for a find to sell on to a larger company that would actually mine, or does it already have the backing of a larger company, where do they raise their money? If there is an international company behind it, then there may be support groups that look at the operations of that company that can be contacted for support and information.



It’s important to express objections early so that they are on record in written form. Objections could be on the basis of impacts not just from exploration but also on potential impacts of mining. If exploration shows that there are minerals and if it is economical to exploit them then the chances are mining will proceed - otherwise why explore. We must, if possible, avoid falling for the argument that it is only exploration, and that longer term impacts will not be considered at this stage.



4. MINERAL EXPLORATION ENVIRONMENTAL GUIDELINES doc.



I make no apology for showing and reading through these guidelines. They come from a detailed list given by the Government DCENR to any company applying for a prospecting licence; I have given the website address for the document, which runs to 4 pages. The main points are given below. In general, anyone with an exploration licence has the right to access to your land. The State owns the minerals that lie below the topsoil. If it decides to grant a mining licence, then it has right to extract any minerals that may be below your house, your property, your farm.



MINERAL EXPLORATION ENVIRONMENTAL GUIDELINES (summarised)



See http://www.mineralsireland.ie/Exploration+Licensing+Process/Guidelines+for+Exploration.htm



GENERAL



All environmental standards to be adhered to, with adequate insurance cover to be in place.

There must be close liaison between the company and relevant landowners, and regulatory authorities.



COMMENCEMENT AND SUPERVISION



Agreement to be reached with landowners before entering lands for geological mapping, surveying, trenching, drilling. Agricultural activities take first place. Prior compensation to be agreed before drilling or trenching takes place, and there must be an appointed field supervisor who gives his name, the company address and telephone number to landowners.



Field equipment not to be left unattended in fields or roadsides (apart from heavy drill or excavating rigs). Everything to be cleared up at the end.



Before starting to drill or excavate, the field supervisor should discuss and identify powerlines, entry points, stock watering points, pipelines etc. Particular attention to be given to crop harvesting, foaling/lambing/calving, possible disease spread etc.



Careful checks to be made for sensitive ecological sites or archaeological features.



The field supervisor must inform the landowner about remedial measures to be taken if water or land pollution should occur.



DRILLING



This must take place downhill from water sources or limestone area, uphill from pollution sites. A full photographic record must be kept.



All access roads must be agreed beforehand with the landowner.



There are strict regulations regarding fuel storage and spillage, and likewise with any removal of water.



Noise must be minimal and not happen during unsocial hours.



Drilling areas are to be fenced against grazing animals.



EXCAVATIONS



Same safety regulations as for drilling, and preferably to take place during dry weather. A full photographic record must be kept.



Topsoil and subsoil to be kept separate, and restored on completion to satisfaction of landowner. If excavations have to be left open after exploration and before proceeding to mining, planning permission must be sought: advice to be obtained from the Local Authority. N.B. Planning Permission doesn’t have to be sought in other instances, except in the case of Restricted areas (below).



WATER SERVICES



Alternative water supplies to be made available immediately if any damage is done to original supplies.



PUMPING AND OTHER GROUNDWATER TESTS



Emergency backup to be available at all times. Local Authority to be informed before tests for arrangements and approval.



RESTRICTED AREAS



These are Special Areas of Conservation or Special Protection Areas. There are restrictions here, and approval is needed in writing 1 month beforehand from the Exploration and Mining Division.



REPS: no work to be done without the prior approval of the landowner.



Here I have to say that I don’t fully understand the status of the lands that will be explored - are these private property - what are the implications if land owners do not want to allow exploration activities? Are there communal owned lands involved - what if people with usage rights to these lands refuse to allow exploration activities? Again it seems to me that the public consultation process required by the Aarhus Convention would offer such answers. Perhaps someone in the hall could inform us after this presentation.



5. Video UTV interview. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD9AmqIV-R4&feature=related



The history of gold mining generally throughout the world is not a happy one, and here I’d like to – I must – consider what is taking place about 50 miles from here, at Cavanacaw Gold Mines in Co Tyrone, just a few miles SW of Omagh. The names of the company keeps changing, but at the beginning it was Rio Tinto Zinc that proposed the area as one meriting exploration for gold. Open-cast goldmining operation at Cavanacaw was granted planning permission in the face of very strong local opposition in 1995, after a public enquiry in 1994. The sites covers 60 hectares, almost 150 acres, the excavation 40m deep, 850m long and up to 100m wide. Neither cyanide or mercury is used; instead, after crushing the rock, a flotation method to separate metals from unwanted materials results in a separation of metallic particles from tailings. A lot of water is required. The foam is then taken from the top of the cell, cleaned and dewatered. The metallic concentrate goes to Canada for treatment and extraction of gold.



In the Omagh mine the ore is graded at up to 7g/tonne. This means you get 7 grams of gold out of one tonne of rock. In fact you need to move far more than one tonne of rock to get those 7 grams. The gold in the ore is actually not visible to the naked eye (as in most gold deposits, gold starts to be visible only when the grade reaches 30g/t).



6. Cavanacaw opencast Gold/Lead Mine Grazing.jpg or http://leadminegrazing.blogspot.com/



At Stormont on 02/06/09 Dr Kieran Deeny MLA said, “Metals other than gold are released when rock is crushed, including lead, cadmium, nickel and arsenic, which are all potentially toxic and dangerous. Heavy metals in such unnatural concentrations can pose enormous problems because they will not break down or disappear completely. All the heavy metals released are also present in dust and sediment. An open pit operation such as the one in Cavanacaw, produces a lot of dust and especially in a windy location such as this one fugitive dust is a problem. It is easily transmitted and poses a danger for surface vegetation, crops, livestock, and humans. Pregnant women, the elderly, and sufferers from asthma are particularly at risk.
Condition 28 of the planning consent stipulated that fixed water sprays be installed on the haul roads to limit dust transmission – this was never carried out. Condition 29 stipulates that stockpiles of rock shall be sown with a range of plants to limit the transmission of dust outside the site boundary, this was never done and Condition 30 says the ore stockpile shall be retained in a covered area for the same reason, this wasn’t done either, (these three Planning breaches were confirmed by Planning service.) Nobody can have any idea how much toxic dust blew across the fields in this windy location or indeed how much of it entered the food chain through crops or cattle and sheep grazing as environmental health officer David Gillis (Omagh District Council) confirmed that little or no monitoring of the site had ever taken place”. (End Dr Deeny’s quotation).



Omagh Minerals has an appalling track record on planning breaches generally, 12 recorded in 2009.



At the September meeting of Omagh District Council Cavanacaw Goldmine Sub Committee, councillors were shocked to learn that large quantities of highly toxic lead were being extracted from the mine. The company's own sales figures for the second quarter of 2009 showed sales of 1,977 troy ounces of gold, 5,972 troy ounces of silver and 90.4 tonnes of lead. Nobody had ever envisaged that such a high percentage of lead would be produced at the mine. These figures equate to 1800 times more lead than gold being produced. The figures published by the company for the 2nd quarter of 2009 give the amount of gold at 1,977 troy ounces of gold, 5,972 troy ounces of silver, and a staggering 90.4 tonnes of lead. The goldmine has become a leadmine.



7. Video 140 trucks per day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgDvBeh8JBU



From June 2008 until February 2009 800,000 tonnes of aggregate were removed from the site and used in the Aughnacloy bypass, until Sammy Wilson MLA halted the operation on Feb 6 2009, and served the company with an enforcement notice in June 2009. Think of our narrow roads if this were to happen; see the difficulties experienced by the milk tanker in the video. Accusations are now being made by those close to the Aughnacloy by-pass that water containing lead is leaking from the roadworks and affecting the groundwater.



This movement of aggregate has removed 20 jobs from two local quarries. In the meantime the mining company has stockpiled 1 million tonnes of aggregate for future possible use in the dual-carriageway to stretch from Aughnacloy to Derry , starting 2012. Remember that under the company’s terms and conditions, the hole made in their opencast mining would be filled in and everything restored as it used to be!



The point that usually is made in favour of job-creation in respect of mining is a weak one. We have seen here the loss of quarry jobs, and the loss of credibility on the part of local farmers whose cattle are exported widely - the danger of lead poisoning means you simply cannot have agriculture and lead mining in close proximity to one another. Few specialised jobs will go to local people as a result of gold-mining; they lack the expertise.



The emphasis in Inishowen should be on fishing, farming and tourism, not spoiling one of Ireland ’s hidden assets. At least one commercial organic farm is situated within one of the listed townlands; would any pollution from mining cause them to lose its organic status?



At a time when we should be seriously facing a future without oil and a future which must get to grips with climate change, it seems frivolous to explore for gold which only the super-rich can buy.



8. Kinnagoe beach.jpg



9. Emailed objection.pdf



Read words printed on slide:



TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN



I object in the strongest terms to the proposal to grant a licence to explore the Inishowen Peninsula for diamonds, gold and other gems.



We have had enough of exploitation and of greed to accumulate wealth in the past few years and the commodities under discussion are only available to the wealthy and HAVE NO TRUE INTRINSIC VALUE, because they cannot be eaten, worn, nor do they provide shelter.



How much more appropriate it would be if investment were made into the truly beneficial work current on the Inishowen Peninsula, namely farming, fishing and tourism. If the licences to explore were to be extended into licences to mine, all these current sources of income and livelihood to the local people would be destroyed, or, at best, damaged.



I look forward to learning that this matter is given a proper opportunity to be debated in public - and ultimately to hearing that the licences have not been granted.


INISHOWEN CANNOT AFFORD GOLD

(Heading of this article from the Inishowen Independent)




LATEST NEWS 17TH MAY 2010

Dear Ms. Reilly,



The current position is that all the objections have been received and listed and the matter will now be considered by the Minister since the legislation provides that the granting of a licence is a matter for his decision. If the Minister decides to grant the licences each person who submitted an objection will be notified by letter and the reasons will be clearly outlined. I'm afraid I can’t give an actual date as to when the decision might be reached but I would expect that it would be in the near future.



Please feel free to contact me if you need any further information.



Sincerely,



John King
Exploration & Mining Division
Department of Communications,
Energy & Natural Resources
Beggar's Bush
Haddington Road
Dublin 4
' ++ 353 1 6782661
7 ++ 353 1 6609627
: john.king@dcenr.gov.ie
www.mineralsireland.ie

Latest 30th July 2010
Hi all,
Now I am getting entirely pi**ed off. Words fail me, so I shall forward the most recent correspondence between our own veteran environmentalist, Mike Doherty , who so skillfully pointed out all the dangers facing a small peninsular community at the meeting in Carrowmenagh, and the ALL POWERFUL Somebody in the Department of Whatever Applies to Inishowen, on who's decision we shall all perish at our own cost, who decided "ON BALANCE" (how DO you balance 400+ letters containing similar concerns? ) to permit prospecting, willy-nilly to people who barely know the geography, let alone the geographical isolation and difficulties facing the community of our area, taking only into account the possibility of millions of revenue to the country at large (i.e. Dublin) and not the realistic damage that mining (why else are they prospecting?) will do to our amazing locality. Please forgive my poetic slant, sure deosn't all great prose come from desire??!
I now hand you over to Mike Doherty, please read the entire mail - PAY PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO THE PATHETIC APOLOGY IN THE OPENING PARAGRAPH FROM MR. KING (and remember that over 400 of these letters have been sent out) - and feel free to reply in large numbers to the department, and don't forget to forward this information to anyone you think might not have recieved it. (and always apologise for cross postings - folks don't like it...)
Best Regards, Mary Reilly..
Dear Mr King.

Thank you for your letter dated 23th July 2010 ref. MA286/1.

While appreciative of the information you give in your reply (paragraphs 4, 5, 6 and 7 contain information which we already knew from a careful study of the Department's website), I have some questions that require answers.

When you say that "the Minister gave careful consideration to the matter and has decided, on balance, to issue the licences to the company", would you agree that no actual reason has been given? This is not what I had been led to expect when you wrote to Mr David Simpson on May 7th "depending on the Minister's final decision, each person who submitted an objection will be notified by personal letter. If the Minister decides to grant the licences the reasons will be stated in the letter". If you disagree with me, could you dissect the letter for my benefit and point to these reasons? Are we not talking about prospecting licences here?

At a public meeting held in Carrowmenagh, Inishowen, as guest speaker I said "It is important to express objections early so that they are on record in written form. Objections could be on the basis of impacts not just from exploration but also on potential impacts of mining. If exploration shows that there are minerals and if it is economical to exploit them then the chances are mining will proceed - otherwise why explore. We must, if possible, avoid falling for the argument that it is only exploration, and that longer term impacts will not be considered at this stage". You miss the underlying logic against opposing prospecting licences. Why explore if not in the hope of mining? Why oppose exploration if not in fear of the environmental impacts that will follow from mining, in particular gold (and even diamonds)? Do you still maintain that your distinction between prospecting and mining is valid?

A crucial point for those who attended the meeting was the right for landowners to refuse permission to prospecting licence holders to enter their land. I realise the Department says that drilling or trenching is essentially non-invasive, yet we can read from their published 2002 report that Cambridge Mineral Resources plc did extensive trenching and drilling during the course of their prospecting in Inishowen. What I would here ask you to clarify is: has a landowner the right to refuse permission to the prospecting licence holder to drill or trench on his or her land?

Prospecting licences are being applied for, and given, without all due information given by the Department, the company or the local authority. This is contrary to the Aarhus Convention, signed by all EU countries in 2001, and ratified by all except Ireland. Much of the unnecessary speculation and fears arise from this single factor. Could you find out through Minister Ryan when Ireland will ratify this Convention?

Yours sincerely,

Mike Doherty
Upper Galwilly
Glentogher
Carndonagh
Co Donegal



Dear Mr. Doherty,

In reply to your email below firstly I regret that, as you correctly point out, the reasons for the decision to grant the licences were not set out in the letter. I regret this oversight.

In reaching a decision to grant a prospecting license, regard is had to the balance between the Department's policy remit for minerals' prospecting and the relevant environmental considerations. As my letter explains, prospecting licences granted by the Minister are subject to the Department's own guidelines as well as to the requirements of the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the National Monuments Service. Therefore, in deciding to grant these licences, the Minister took full account of the balance between the environmental factors and Government policy as set out in the Department's website viz. "...the encouragement of the early identification and responsible development by private investors of the Nation's minerals deposits in accordance with best international practice" and "... promoting and regulating minerals exploration and development in Ireland".

The end-result of prospecting is of course to discover a viable mineral resource and develop it, in accordance with national economic policy, and we are certainly not attempting to conceal this. However in the majority of cases where prospecting takes place such resources are not discovered. When they are discovered, and the decision is taken to develop them, my letter explained the processes and consultative stages that must be gone through to get permission.

While the minerals exploration and development legislation does not give landowners the right to refuse permission to prospect over their land, in practice our Guidelines for Good Environmental Practice stipulate that: "Where practicable, agreement must be obtained from landowners before entering onto lands for geological mapping, geochemical or geophysical surveying, trenching or drilling." The link below shows the Guidelines and it is a condition of the licence that they must be adhered to.

http://www.mineralsireland.ie/NR/rdonlyres/E04E7138-A125-47B2-B264-6BAA45C70AF9/0/Environmental_Guidelines_in_Exploration_2009.pdf

I cannot agree with you that licences are being applied for or given without all due information being given by us but if you would like to point out where in particular you feel this may have occurred I will be very happy to reply.

Yours sincerely,

John King
Exploration & Mining Division
Department of Communications,
Energy & Natural Resources
Beggar's Bush
Haddington Road
Dublin 4
' ++ 353 1 6782661
7 ++ 353 1 6609627
: john.king@dcenr.gov.ie
www.mineralsireland.ie

Latest August 5th 2010

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

you guys have way too much times on your hands, wrong to prevetn anything at all by devious and bitter methods. I'll start my campaing to day to have a mining support group to offset the victimisation and borderline fascist behaviour of you and your nasty little group of Luddites.

mining&exploration support group said...

I ask your support and the support of your family, friends and colleagues in alliance with Grovsenor Exploration who are trying to get an exploration licence or two issued in County Donegal.

Donegal is the latest area to come under fire from connected, minority green-puppet pressure groups, the sole aim of which is to wipe out mineral exploration, geological employment, drilling and laboratory services in Ireland.

The totally uncompromised and non-conflicted Minister for Natural (trees, wind, scraw roofs etc) Resources, the esteemed and highly visible (except when it comes to mineral & petroleum exploration, mining or natural gas/oil production), Mr. Eamon “Shell to Sea/No uranium here/No mining in the Independent Republic of Mayo” Ryan will probably play his usual role here and roll over to have his tummy tickled by these Pinnochioites.



Please have a visit to their lovely unbiased and so well research sites, if you can spare the time whilst working for a living – where they are touting the same little tricks and manipulation of the system they did in Mayo in 2008. These people, and their supporters in Government, are working to perform what amount to corporate abortions by preventing exploration and due process based “we don’t want mining and that’s the end result of a mineral exploration licence”. They, and the Minister, in refusing exploration licences based on false or exaggerated information, 19th and early 20th century props and great big lies, are circumventing the procedures and laws of the country. The planners and EPA etc. are probably well fit to do their job if and when the time comes.

http://inishindie.blogspot.com/2010/04/inishowen-environmental-group-metting.html

Unless this toxic algal green bloom is tackled now, it will smother our industry (currently supporting 10,000 jobs and worth billions to the economy) and others. Major investors such as Xstrata, Teck, Boliden and Lundin may exit to spend their money on more investor friendly shores such as the manky and toxic mining waste ridden; Canada or Scandinavia (such environmentally unfriendly countries!) where their countries are in such bad shape as a result of mineral exploration, mining and export of commodities. With them will go several orders of magnitudes more in private and junior investment. There won’t be a job left in minerals, oil & gas or quarrying if these bullies and liars are not stood up to now.

Put down what you are doing please and pick up your scratching tool/quill/fountain-pen/ballpoint/keyboard and send you letters of support before April 30th to:

Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources,
Beggars Bush,
Haddington Road,
Dublin 4
MINING MATTERS

Doug said...

I am disappointed by this article which serves to undermine credible Green opposition to irresponsible development and exploitation, using as it does a range of unsubstantiated, alarmist claims with, at best, dubious links and spurious accusations, and, at worst, several public accusations against innocent parties that could lead to legal action.

If you are going to mount a credible campaign you will be required to produce evidence to substantiate your claims, just as any company responding to those claims would be expected to produce evidence backing up its response; you cannot just speculate wildly as you have done here. I would go as far as saying that several of the companies you have mentioned by name may have a case of libel against you, as you have inferred that their proposed (and entirely legal under Irish law) activity of exploration is somehow linked with the sale of 'blood diamonds' from troubled African nations.

Nevertheless, I have taken the time to point out a few of your misdemeanours in the hope that next time you atempt to mount opposition to what you perceive to be a 'threat' (real or imagined), you might take the time to become a bit better informed before launching into print. I have written comments next to your original text below:

The members wish to emphasise that the writing of objections to the Department should be made on an individual basis. While the Government may proceed with the granting of exploration licences despite any objections, the fact that the objections have been made could be important if matters move on to the consideration of granting mining licences. We find it strange that the notice of issue of prospecting licences was not sent to the local Inishowen papers, but now that is to be rectified we have a further 21 days to lodge an objection. We would ask that objections should be informed by an awareness of the following points:

Doug said...

- I believe that if you check, you will find that your claim of there being no publication in the local press is incorrect.

- Prospecting licences are exactly that: a licence to prospect (i.e. undertake a form of scientific investigation) on a specified area of land for the minerals or materials specified in the licence. The range of actions open to the explorer are limited and all have negligible impact on the land. Statistically, only 1 in 1000 exploration licences finds any mineralization of note. Moving on to the later question of the issue of a separate mining licence (subject to separate and much stricter legislation), this figure reduces rapidly to over 1 in 10000 (out of the 1 in 1000 discovered above) for the chances of anything actually forming an economic deposit. There are thousands of active exploration licences all over Ireland (visit the EMD website to view the map) and yet only two active metal-extracting mines in the entire country, both of which, incidentally, have exemplary environmental records. A quick look at the metals map of Ireland shows that there are several mineral occurrences all over Ireland that are known about but have not been mined.

Ø If a licence to explore most of Inishowen is granted, no landowner can legally object to a representative of the company entering his or her land and searching for the presence of minerals, whether they be gems, diamonds or gold;

- No exploration company in its right mind would enter onto a landowner's ground to carry out work without the landowner's permission. In practice, the relationship between landowners and exploration companies, with very few exceptions, is a positive one, with the landowner benefitting from the presence of the company during the brief time it is present.

- In most cases, exploration is carried out by individual field geologists mapping and collecting samples for analysis: most landowners would otherwise be unaware of their presence on the land as they cross over it, with no more impact that a normal hillwalker.

Ø The ability of exploration individuals to enter onto private land without permission does not extend to digging or trenching or any other form of invasive activity;

- trenching is rarely used nowadays as a method of exploration; drilling is the prefered method of searching beneath the ground and has little or no impact other than temporary ground disturbance, on a similar level to agricultural machinery (most drilling rigs nowadays are mounted on tractors and trailers). Drilling is always carried out with the full permission of the landowner.

Ø We should be told more about this company, as there is a well-documented history of companies in this area fronting other, more contentious companies – and unfortunately this can sometimes mean facilitating the sale of things like “blood diamonds” where diamonds which cannot be legally sold because of their provenance in somewhere like Sierra Leone, can be “found” in another – this time legal – spot, and sold on (present knowledge would indicate that the two directors are Australian, resident in Perth, and with a history of expertise in diamond mining). An almost contemporaneous application for mineral exploration in SW Donegal is being made by Mylitus Mining, whose connections extend ultimately to Ghana, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Liberia and Angola – none of this information is given upfront.

- You are treading on very thin ground here; both these companies have good reason to be sending you a solicitors letter for what could easily be perceived as libelous comments!

- Information: Blood diamonds are a serious issue but in reality form less than 2% of overall diamond trade: the diamond trading industry (a completely separate industry from any form of exploration company) are responsible for the control measures that have been put in place to remove these diamonds from circulation. If you have issues with 'blood diamonds' you should be raising your concerns with these organisations instead.

Doug said...

Ø There is at present no map available for consultation in Carndonagh, a legal requirement on the part of the Department.

- my understanding (on checking) is that you are incorrect: maps have been posted in local Garda stations.

Ø Why should a repeat exercise in exploring exactly the same townlands as those surveyed in 1997 by Cambridge Mineral Resources through an aerial survey for diamonds be carried out again?

- Why not? You have shot your own arguments down in flames here: what impact did the previous surveys have? What massive environmental destruction occurred? How many of the fears that you so energetically promote here have come to pass? Where is your evidence to suggest that anything should be different this time? All the evidence points diametrically to the opposite being the case.

- In any case, why shouldn't another company have a second look if the underlying geology indicates it might be worth it? Your argument is completely illogical: using a medical analogy, doctors and researchers have not yet found a cure for cancer - does that mean that they should stop looking just because other researchers followed a similar line of enquiry and were unsuccessful? Have you stopped for a moment to consider how valuable any discovery might be to this area of Ireland?

Ø Why did Cambridge Mineral Resources pass on its surveyed material to Moville Minerals Limited in the period 1998 to 2000, but this time not for diamonds, but for gold – without any public announcement, despite the Klondyke type advance notices prior to Cambridge embarking on its aerial survey? We were never told, despite promises, exactly what Cambridge found when they sent their results to Australia for analysis.

- What is a 'Klondyke type advance notice'?? I think the fact that no results were published and that neither Cambridge nor Moville Minerals (or any other company over the last ten years) did any further work speaks for itself - D'Oh!!

Doug said...

Ø Mining for gold is environmentally hazardous in the extreme – is this the real objective behind the exploration?

- Another throw-away line: 'environmentally hazardous in the extreme' - state some modern examples to back this claim up! Your attempt to create advance ill-will against the company by infering that there is some cloaked or alternative agenda is pathetic: if the company in question wanted to explore primarily for gold they would have applied to do so; they would be legally entitled to do this and would not waste their time trying to conceal it from a potential objector like yourself.

Ø Does the Department think that the Inishowen road infrastructure, particularly in the small local roads likely to be used, is up to carrying the heavy lorries need to carry away overburden?

- this really does highlight your complete lack of knowledge on the subject. Again, your willingness to build a portfolio of fear and worry against the 'potential actions' of the company have backfired:
1) The company has applied for an exploration licence; overburden only comes into play in a mining situation (as mentioned previously; requiring a different set of licences and stringent environmental controls).
2) In any case, anyone with any sense would know that overburden is the least valuable element of a mine and as such is moved as little as possible. In most modern cases the overburden is returned directly to the ground where it came from, in as sort a space of time as possible, and the topsoil (stored separately) restored on top of this.
3) If a discovery where made and a mine to subsequently open, the scale of any mine would likely be such that one lorry a week could transport the concentrate away from the minesite for processing elsewhere (normal industry practice). Hardly a factor for increased incidence of road rage.

Ø What is the position of our local political representatives on this, and if they don’t know, why not? It is difficult for private individuals to inform themselves.

- Again, this is an application for an exploration licence; something that takes place on a daily basis across the length and breadth of Ireland without unduly affecting the people living on the land. It is not something that a politician, local or otherwise, would need to concern themselves with. The country is financially destitute: get a grip and find something more important to worry about/complain about/blog about.

Doug said...

Ø Where does the Green Box thinking enter into the exploitative nature of prospecting and possible mining of a non-essential material, be it diamonds or gold? The emphasis in Inishowen should be on fishing, farming and tourism, not spoiling one of Ireland’s hidden assets. At least one commercial organic farm is situated within one of the listed townlands; would any pollution from mining cause them to lose their organic status?

- Again you managed to make giant and totally unconnected leaps; your thinking is so contorted and ill-informed here that I am finding it hard to encapsulate a response! I'll therefore deal with it point-by-point:

1) 'Green Box thinking': either a) live in a mud hut and ride a donkey for transport (the only true 'green' solution, or b) accept that you are as much a part of the problem as the next person and start taking responsibility for your personal consumption: if you live in a house connected to the grid, own a car and use the banking system you are simply an environmental hypocrite.

2)'non-essential' (your definition) elements such as gold are used in all manner of electrical contacts for computing: your mobile phone will contain gold, as will your TV set and many other electrical items around the house. The main use for precious metals and gemstones is not, in fact, for jewelry, but in technological and industrial applications such as circuitry, many of which will be used in creating REAL solutions to combat global warming. In the case of diamonds, over 80% are used in industrial applications. Again, your lack of general and readily-accessible knowledge is alarming.

3) Fishing: Currently unsustainable around the northern European coastline. Are you suggesting Irish fishermen are forced to return to a subsistence existence from the 1800s to satisfy what fits your idea of a sustainable and indigenous activity?

4) Farming: Already economically unsustainable in Ireland as a whole, much less the marginal ground of much of Donegal. Without subsidy from the EU there would be no farming industry to speak of in Ireland or the UK. Not to mention the questionable environmental record of farming itself; modern farming bears little resemblance to the 'sustainable' but existence-level farming of the past, where artificial fertilizers, weedkillers and the extensive use of farm machinery and damaging slurry spreading did not exist. Again, are you suggesting farmers are forcibly returned to lazy beds and subsistence small holdings to satisfy your vision of a sustainable countryside?

5) Tourism: If you are suggesting that Ireland drastically increase the level of tourism to take the place of industries you wish to see replaced, then you also take on board responsibility for increased flights and traffic on the island (with attendant increase in CO2), increased development to accommodate these tourists, and increased consumption in the feeding, housing and entertainment of these tourists to attract them in the first place, and keep them amused in our not-so-friendly at times Irish weather.
Tourism has proven time and time again that it destroys the very thing it seeks to promote. So much for your argument for 'not spoiling one of Ireland's hidden assets'.

- re the organic fish farm, I'm sure that any responsible mining company (should it come to that) would go out of its way to ensure that any and all toxic output from the mine (and possibly material imported from elsewhere) would be re-directed into these ponds in the interest of keeping up with your perceived image of the mining industry.

Doug said...

Ø Has there been an attempt on the part of this company to let local communities know what is involved, and if possible, alleviate their fears? We need only to refer to Donegal County Council’s attempt to impose a landfill site at the top of Glentogher in 1991, using legal tactics, only to be turned down eventually through the insistence of local people that their environment was seriously at risk because of unacknowledged geological instabilities leading to contamination of their water supply for people and animals. A more recent example of lack of transparency, consultation and dialogue in Co Mayo is the government’s handling of the gas pipeline project in Rossport.

- What in the hell has a County Council landfill site got to do with an application for an exploration permit? You need to visit the Exploration and Mining Division website http://www.mineralsireland.ie/ and familiarise yourself with what exactly an exploration licence offers - and stop being so bloody lazy about doing your research on the 'facts' that you promote.

- the company will no doubt inform any local people who need to be informed during the course of its work - why should it spend time and expense on informing you if you are not directly affected by the studies it is carrying out? (And by 'affected' I mean it has been necessary to enter your land to collect rock or soil samples).

- In the case of Mayo, I note that a well-known Irish environmental website continuedly refers to the proposed refinery as 'toxic', even though no evidence exists that this is the case, or is ever likely to be.

Ø If there is the usual offer of jobs, is it not the case that these go to specialised outside people, well-qualified in these fields? We may be in a time of recession, but we can still see through empty promises.

- Your clairvoyance astounds me; has the company actually made any job offers yet? Your ability to see through any and all offers conjecturally made at some time in the future is astounding! Maybe a future career in the Fairground or marginal TV channels (Crossing Over?) beckons?? You should be able to see that coming...

- In actual fact, in the mining industry jobs generally do go to local people as they are more inclined to commit to the project and stay in the area. 'Outside' people are generally used at the start of the project to train local workers, before moving on to the next project in development. Mines have on average lifespans from 10 years to almost a 100 years - hardly a fly-by-night operation, and represent a strong commitment and financial input to the local economy, as can be seen at Navan. But why are we talking about jobs and mining? This is an application for an exploration licence, and for the reasons already stated above all of this conjecture is vastly premature and irrelevant.

Ø At a time when we should be seriously facing a future without oil and one which must get to grips with climate change, it seems frivolous to explore for diamonds which only the super-rich can buy. Synthetic diamond manufacture can easily supply industry’s needs for diamonds.

- Again two serious bloopers. Who are you to say what is worth exploring for and what is not? I suppose you have also put hours of research into balancing whether or not creating a synthetic diamond uses more resource than digging up one that occurs naturally? Creating 50,000 times atmospheric pressure and using a gas plasma in the production of synthetic diamonds is hardly an energy-efficient process. Where do you think the electricity for the process comes from? Windfarms?

Doug said...

As a Green campaigner I would suggest that you and your ilk are the key source of our current problems and our complete inability to tackle climate change: Germany manages to implement more change annually that Ireland and the UK have achieved over the last ten years, thanks to the 'fight everything, not in my back yard' stance of objectors like yourselves. Until people begin to take responsibility for their own knowledge, research the facts (available to all on the internet; try Wikipedia for a start) and begin to make informed decisions, the rest of us will watch in despair as people like you fudge and bodge their way through the promotion of personal agendas, preventing responsible development and encouraging the continued exploitation of undeveloped countries, where less scrupulous operators can run their operations with little or no environmental or human rights concerns.

Until the population of developed nations like Ireland take responsibility for their own material requirements, develop their own natural resources responsibly and make tough but informed decisions on matters such as energy (including nuclear), we will continue in this void of inactivity and will crash headlong into the climate-changed future that everyone fears so much.

Charlie said...

I haven't got the time here as the previouys commenters to write a full statement.
Is it really the "Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources" defaming the movement of people here? "The totally uncompromised and non-conflicted Minister for Natural (trees, wind, scraw roofs etc) Resources, Eamon Ryan". Haven't we all seen that this minister does NOT keep his promises to the people and keeps on deciding FOR multinational and AGAINst the people's interests?
=> EAMON RYAN GOES FOR RAIN FORESTS (http://donegalgreens.com/?p=39).
Those posts here (Doug) remind me on some defamation attacks from Shell against the brave people in and around Rossport defending their civil rights!

I hope we will see them at the meeting.

Charlie.

Charlie said...

Doug said:
"I'm sure that any responsible mining company would go out of its way to ensure that any and all toxic output from the mine would be re-directed into these ponds"

I wouldn't be that sure.

Doug said:
"In the case of Mayo, I note that a well-known Irish environmental website continuedly refers to the proposed refinery as 'toxic', even though no evidence exists that this is the case, or is ever likely to be."

This is definitive a lie!

Doug said:
"As a Green campaigner I would suggest that you and your ilk are the key source of our current problems and our complete inability to tackle climate change: Germany manages to implement more change annually that Ireland and the UK have achieved over the last ten years, thanks to the 'fight everything, not in my back yard' stance of objectors like yourselves. Until people begin to take responsibility for their own knowledge, research the facts (available to all on the internet; try Wikipedia for a start) and begin to make informed decisions, the rest of us will watch in despair as people like you fudge and bodge their way through the promotion of personal agendas, preventing responsible development and encouraging the continued exploitation of undeveloped countries, where less scrupulous operators can run their operations with little or no environmental or human rights concerns."

Kicks the straw out of the bottle.
You are mixing up a few things here. Germany has a very different history and background. They were forced to implement environmental protection much earlier.
But what I see here is a blind promise that exploration and mining is for the good of the Irish people and environmentally friendly. The history of the state has shown us that this is a lie too!

Mining has enormous impact on the environment.

Statements like "Unless this toxic algal green bloom is tackled now, it will smother our industry (currently supporting 10,000 jobs and worth billions to the economy)" from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, show us quite clear whose interests are supported by the state. Where are the billions of profit? Where are the loyalties of those companies? What benefits have the local comunities?

Charlie said...

Just to give everybody here an example what impact the Corrib Gas Project in Mayo already has:


Environmental and Pollution Issues

Water Pollution

* Carrowmore Lake:
“If you site a petrochemical industry in the catchment area of a community drinking water you are asking for trouble and it’s only a matter of time before damage is done".
Construction of the gas refinery has necessitated the excavation of over half a million tons of peat, which were transported and dumped several km away at Srahmore peat facility. The disturbance of aluminium rich deposits under the bog during excavation combined with inadequate water management at the site has resulted in the pollution of the local drinking water source, Special Area of Conservation and Special Protected Area of Carrowmore Lake. Aluminium contaminated water was allowed to run off the site draining into the lake. Mayo County Council’s figures show that aluminium levels in the drinking water coming from the lake contain levels of aluminium exceeding the World Health Organisation's accepted safety levels. Further and more serious contamination of Carrowmore Lake is feared if the refinery is built and operational.
During the 2007 oral hearing for the granting of an IPPC (integrated pollution prevention and control) licence Leo Corcoran of An Taisce lodged an objection to the granting of the licence on behalf the basis that “the Bellanaboy site does not comply with international codes of practice for siting gas processing terminals because it is located within the catchment of a major water supplier.” As well as the lake’s primary importance as the source of drinking water for almost 10,000 people, it is also of considerable ecological value, primarily for the extensive intact blanket bog surrounding the lake, which provides a range of good quality habitats for both plants and animals. The north-western part of the site supports a number of Greenland White-fronted Geese, while other important bird species which occur are Golden Plover, Merlin, Sandwich Tern and Arctic Tern.

* Broadhaven Bay:
Waste chemicals from the proposed refinery would be pumped into Broadhaven Bay at the mouth of the Sruthwaddacon Estuary. This untreated waste would contain many lethal substances, including lead, nickel, magnesium, phosphorus, chromium, arsenic, mercury and the radioactive gas radon. Broadhaven Bay has circular tidal patterns The bay is a designated Special Protected Area and Special Area of Conservation. It is of particular importance due to the range of habitats that it encompasses including large shallow bays, intertidal sand flats, reefs, marine caves and salt marshes. According to state heritage agency An Duchas “Broadhaven Bay supports an internationally important number of Brent Geese” as well as providing a breeding and foraging ground for several marine mammals.

A study commissioned by Enterprise Energy in 2001 from the Coastal and Marine Resources Centre at UCC found the bay to be of special importance for cetaceans and other marine mammals. The study recorded over 220 sightings of two whale and five otter and dolphin species commenting that “there are few if any comparable examples of a relatively small bay in Ireland containing all five Annex II marine mammals with such frequency (bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoise, grey seal, common seal and European otter).” It found that Broadhaven Bay was an important breading and rearing area for whales and dolphins specifically bottlenose dolphins. The area was also noted as containing “important foraging habitats for numerous marine mammal species, plankton feeding basking sharks and seabirds.” Significantly the findings of the UCC report were omitted from the subsequent EIS, which stated that there was “no evidence that the bay is of particular importance to whales and dolphins”.

...

Charlie said...

...

Air Pollution:

A key concern in relation to the proposed refinery at Bellanaboy is the issue of air pollution. Aerial emissions is what is now a pristine environment will include Oxides of Carbon, Oxides of Nitrogen, Sulphur Dioxide, Volatile organic compounds, methane and ozone. It is proposed to emit methane through a process of cold venting.

Conservation Areas

The Erris area is considered to be internationally important in terms of habitats and many of the birds, mammals and plants are listed as Annex I or II species, requiring strict EU protection. Shell's proposed refinery and pipeline directly affect the following protected areas:

* Broadhaven Bay SAC 000472
* Carrowmore Lake Complex SAC 000476
* Glenamoy Bog Complex SAC 000500
* Blacksod Bay/Broadhaven SPA 004037
* Carrowmore Lake SPA 004052
* Pollatomish Bog NHA 001548


We have to ensure that anything similar can NOT happen in Inishowen or elsewhere!

M.A. said...

I did something that perhaps some of the posters here did not bother to do, I actually rang DCENR to find out what it all means, from source. I spent about 20 minutes on the phone with a helpful person and came away reassured that nobody was going to mine the ground from under me. I'll be happy to explain what they said at the meeting, which I am planning to attend.

Charlie said...

Here are two clips. How multinationals work with the state and how the state works with its citizens:

Policing The Pollution - Don't mention the water
http://current.com/participate/vc2/vc2-uk/87156551_policing-the-pollution-dont-mention-the-water.htm

Irish Media and the Corrib Gas Project
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uF-NH_pvxMM

M.A. said...

Owing to an Inishowen issue which DOES seriously concern me, i.e. no broadband, I'm unable to view any YouTube links.

Charlie said...

There is programs on the market where you can download thee movie clips (e.g. Real.com)

Charlie said...

Watch these film clips in the internet:

Policing The Pollution - Don't mention the water
=> http://current.com/participate/vc2/vc2-uk/87156551_policing-the-pollution-dont-mention-the-water.htm

Irish Media and the Corrib Gas Project
=> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uF-NH_pvxMM

Shell in Mayo: A New Nigeria? - Good short background film
=> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLpDmh4BU8w

Stopping Shell illegally drilling on SAC
=> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czw37WlF9tQ

Stopping Shell drilling on Coillte land
=> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzJkrYzdiOI

Pollathomais Pier - Gardai force Digger onto Private Land
=> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y90E5OQI4Ig



More infos about the Corrib Gas Project in Mayo:
=> http://www.shelltosea.com
=> http://www.indymedia.ie/mayo

Support the brave people in and around Rossport defending their civil rights and much more!


These things must be nipped in the bud!


http://donegalgreens.com

Anonymous said...

I really have to agree with Doug's responses.

So just to clarify, you objectors are more than happy to use the fruits of mining and exploration from other countries in your TVs, Cars, Electricity grids, Computers - the list really is endless. And to spend the money that this country can't really afford to spend on importing all these things, instead of utilising our own natural resources to generate money and employment under the guidelines of a generally quite well regulated system? Importing from other countries that won't be quite as well regulated, won't pay their workers sufficient wages and really couldn't give a a damn about the environment? As long as it isn't near you ehh?
This country has no future farming jobs, no future fishing jobs, no future manufacturing jobs and green energy jobs can only provide so many. Why can't mining and exploration in a regulated system provide some of the 400,000 jobs? Nobody will see the beauty of Donegal if no one lives there because there are no jobs.

Charlie said...

Where are your 400,000 jobs, anonymous? Are you joking?

The past has shown us many times that mining companies devastate the environment, abuse their workers, the local people, and don't pay decend loyalties, if they are not forced to.

The Corrib Gas Project in Mayo is just another example how the people are cheated and threatened by those (multinational) companies.

So it is not only our right, it is also our task to observe such explorations very carefully.

Inishindie said...

Press release by Bev Doherty part 1

Meeting about Gold prospecting well attended.

Over 80 people attended a meeting last Friday night in Carrowmenagh to find out why the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources want to grant licences to Grosvenor Mining PLC to search for gold, diamonds and gem minerals in townlands stretching from Malin Head to Lough Foyle.

The meeting, called by concerned residents of the area and chaired by Mary Crumlish was also well attended by local councillors. Apologies were sent by Deputy Cecelia Keaveny, Padraig McLochlainn and Joe McHugh.

Guest speaker Mike Doherty from Glentogher, Carndonagh, outlined the legal procedures involved in prospecting and the rights of landowners to refuse access to prospectors if they wished. A bill has been drawn up allowing farmers to refuse access, but it has not become law yet.

Several short films were shown, one showing the discovery and subsequent mining of gold in Co. Tyrone, just a few miles outside Omagh Town , another contained interviews with landowners in South Africa whose land has been damaged by a local goldmine. One man, who grows vegetables commercially, was told that he wouldn't be able to clean out his irrigation dam because the sediment gathering behind it was radioactive. The mining had displaced uranium particles and he hadn't been informed. Displacement of other minerals often happens with gold mining. In fact, the mine in Omagh has so far produced 1800 times more lead than gold!

Councillors Bernard McGuinness and Mickey Doherty admitted that they knew nothing of the application for licences until they were invited to the meeting, and no-one in the room knew that there were already two licences active in Inishowen, owned by another company.

Councillor Charlie McConalogue again outlined the legalities surrounding the prospecting and mining of gold, saying that he needed to do more research before he could decide if the possibility of a gold mine in Inishowen was a good thing or a bad thing. This view was held by a few, but the vast majority at the meeting agreed that it would be better to avoid a situation where mining could become a reality by urging the government to refuse the licences in the first place.

Mike Doherty cautioned that unless many letters of opposition were sent to the Department, nothing would be done to stop licences being granted. He said that an attempt by residents in South Donegal to stop the issue of licences there failed because the Department only received thirteen individual letters. Apparently petition-style letters sent in by concerned groups didn't count.

Photocopies of basic letter of objection were circulated and more are available by contacting Mary Crumlish at 9381457.Last date objections will be received is May 6th.

You are invited to add your voice to the effort by writing or emailing your objections to the Exploration and Mining Division, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

Beggar's Bush

Haddington Road

Dublin 4

Tel: 01 6782666

Fax: 01-6609627

fiona.mcguinness@dcenr.gov.ie

Inishindie said...

I've put all the pages of the press release onto the main page of the blog

http://inishindie.blogspot.com/2010/04/inishowen-environmental-group-metting.html

It is too long to put in the comments....

Charlie said...

Now I was several times in contact with Fiona McGuinness from the Exploration and Mining Division.
First you're getting very litte info. After several querries (amongst others that links on their web site don't seem to work) I'm only getting the ad for the papers from them back again.
I'm feeling like they're taking the p1ss of me.
That behaviour is showing anything else than transparancy!
Finally they got my objection! I'm awaiting their confirmation of the receipt of it.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, if you actually read my post you would have read what I actually said - "Why can't mining and exploration in a regulated system provide some of the 400,000 jobs?"

And you are correct "it is not only our right, it is also our task to observe such explorations very carefully". But not to over react and scaremonger unnecessarily. This country has a very bad NIMBY attitude, and will force the few avenues of solid growth and development to other countries where people want jobs and diversification of employment.
I'm all for making sure the countryside isn't ruined, but the scaremongering and lies have to stop.

Charlie said...

First of all Mr, Ms or Mrs Anonymous, who are you?
As long as you hide you HAVE something to hide. Untrustful! Why should I even talk to you?
Scaremongering and lies can only be stopped with openness.
I'm sure your parents have given you a name.
2ndly, solid growth and development can only be achieved with transparency AND the involvement of the local people and their concerns. Anything else is cronyismn (what we already have for the badness of the majority of the people) or even dictatorship (I hope we are not really going that way). Do you really wonder about this "over reaction"? Me not. Because we are just afraid being overrun and cheated again. If you want to contribute anything here then first of all show us who you are and where you are really hitting for, or I have to recognize you as a spoof, nothing else.

Mike said...

First notice published in non-local paper, Dept agreed to re-advertise after protest.

The Dept guidelines for exploration refer to heavy extraction equipment, drilling rigs i.e.

exploration MAY be invasive. Cambridge Minerals (1997-2000) in publicly released documentation

makes reference to deep drilling and extensive trenching in their exploratory search for

diamonds.

Quoting from the 1940 Act "the licensee is instructed that before exercising the rights of entry

conferred by the Licence, they should, as far as may be practicable, discuss with the landowner

or the surface occupier their intention to enter on the property and to carry out certain

prospecting work there". The words to watch are: "as far as may be practicable". At the moment

the status of the law suggests negotiated agreement between the landowner and the prospector. In

the event of agreement not being reached, the law is less than clear, and even less so when it

comes to commonage.

Proospecting licences are being applied for, and given, without all due information given by the

Dept, the company or the local authority. This is contrary to the Aarhus Convention, signed by

all EU countries in 2001, and ratified by all except Ireland. Much of the unnecessary

speculation and fears arise from this single factor.

There are no goldmines in the Republic, and only one in the UK, in Co Tyrone, where mining

commenced 3 years ago (the first in the last 2000 years of British mining history).

On blood diamonds (and see paragraph above: this company may not be interested in diamonds, we

can't know): your figures are on the very low end of what is considered to be an ongoing trade.

Ghana has been a suspect country in this regard; a report said "With effect from November 24,

[2006] this year, Ghana could not export diamonds unless the diamonds were inspected by experts

of the World Diamond Council...
The measure was the result of United Nation's Panel of experts report on Ghana, which alleged

that, the country was dealing in conflict diamonds from neighbouring countries." Some put the

figure of conflict diamonds as high as 16%. The point remains a valid one, and no specific

accusation is made in the paragraph referred to.

Making a physical visit to Carndonagh Garda station revealed the absence of the required map.

Mike said...

Follow up:
You miss the underlying logic against opposing exploration licences. why explore if not in the hope of mining? Why oppose exploration if not in fear of the environmental impacts that will follow from mining, in particular gold (and even diamonds)? Of course the value of discovering gold was looked at. It won't be the environment or the local people who will benefit. And yes, Grosvenor has applied for prospecting licences in 7 areas to cover base metals, gold and gems.

BBC News Friday May 14 1999 reported "Ireland's northernmost peninsula, Inishowen in Co. Donegal, may have to brace itself for a Klondyke like rush of prospectors after the news that serious drilling for diamonds may commence there." Well at least the value of Cambridge shares shot up after that, even though no diamonds were ever extracted! Who took the profits?

You really should do some of your internet searching on the gold-mining fiasco at Cavanacaw, near Omagh. Once you get past the confused beginnings (1994, public enquiry) you will end up with what's happening nowadays. Try these links (there are plenty of others for you to find on harmful effects from gold-mining ... these are local)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD9AmqIV-R4&feature=related

http://leadminegrazing.blogspot.com/

The figures published by the Tyrone company for the 2nd quarter of 2009 give the amount of gold at 1,977 troy ounces of gold, 5,972 troy ounces of silver, and a staggering 90.4 tonnes of lead. The goldmine has become a leadmine. 800,000 tons of aggregate has left the mine (on narrow roads) to supply material for the Aughnacloy bypass. Now the groundwater there is being affected by the lead and other heavy metals leaking out.

140 trucks a day - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgDvBeh8JBU

12 breaches of planning conditions alone in 2009.

Fact or fear? Or fear based on facts?

Talking about facts, here are some. 80% of gold produced is used in jewellery. The amount of gold used in the electronic world is minute, and can be recycled (a cursory web search brought up two respectable UK based specialist companies which do this properly - it doesn't have to go to impoverished countries to impair their health). 90% of industrial diamonds are produced synthetically.

Gold as ornament, diamonds as ornament, are NON-ESSENTIAL. Remember the story of what happened to King Midas in turning everything to gold, he lost all that he valued, family, nature, food ... and the future facing a planet with shrinking supplies of fossil fuels and a rapidly changing climate certainly won't be able to enjoy gold and diamonds. Inishowen's ability to feed itself and offer a low-carbon tourism attraction will outlast any short-term lust for the yellow metal.

Organic fish farm? Are you sure? Can't find a reference to that.

Charlie said...

Thank you Mike for this brilliant research. Well done!

Anonymous said...

Get a job Charlie, stop living off the state. stop victimising the weak. school yard bully boy, you are probably one of the rent a mob from the independent republic of mayo who can work within the spirit of the law, love to disenfranchise others by twisting and bending the law. hope you live in a mud hut over there eat berry's and seaweed - practicing what you preach are you? What a laugh....hyprocryite layabout net recievers the lots of you. roll on the big crash so all the state funds dry up and you lot have to work for a living.

Anonymous said...

Mike you support the erosion of law, you are circumventing the due processes set down for others. the very thing you whinge about being done to you. Its up to the planners and councils and epa if and when mining begins not a bunch of bigots from the Geobells School of PR and banner waving activists on welfare. due process, law. Practice what you preach dimwit, abondon your car, heating, bike, rings and every metal, fuel or mineral mined. If you cant grow it you have to mine it - what are you and your chums supporting from the mining industry today - lots I'd say. When you shave in the morning remember that if you can practice what you preach you're a hypocryite.

Charlie said...

Mr Anonymous, come out of your den. You're only posting crap and are coward as well.

Pat said...

This blog says it all really

Imagine a world ruled by NIMBYs

Pat said...

Apparently the blog in my last post was too difficult for Charlie to understand.
If anyone else has learning difficulties, try this blog

Mining. Could YOU really live without it?

Charlie said...

Ok, maybe a common question wasn't the right way to respond.

First: Who benefits from such mining?
Is it the local people? Is it the people of the country? Is it a private company?

Second: Who has to deal with the vast impact on the environment and therefore with the consequences of such mining? Is it the local people? Is it the people of the country? Is it that private company?

More questions when these ones are answered...

Pat said...

Right Charlie. First, Who is 'we'?

First of all we ask who benefits from mining?
Is it the local communities? Is it the Irish people? Is it a private company?



Every person who uses a product manufactured from mined material, or a product which is manufactured using electricity, or manufactured using tools and machinery which are manufactured from mined material, or lives in a house built with mined materials, or a house constructed using tools made from mined materials obviously benefits from mining.
It does not matter whether those people are Irish or any other nationality, if they benefit from any manufactured product, they consequently benefit from mining.
If a community uses manufactured products, the whole community benefits from mining.



Second: who has to deal with the huge environmental impact of such mining and therefore with the consequences of that?
Is it the local communities? Is it the Irish people? Is it the private company?



The mining companies should minimise environmental impact and pass the cost of any remedial work on to the consumers by charging a suitable premium on consumable goods, building materials etc.
As virtually all of the mined resource will be used by the world's communities, each individual and each community should be prepared to pay for their fair share of the cost.

Charlie said...

First of all it is the MINING COMPANY which benefits from such mining. They want to make profits. They don't do that because they want all of us to benefit from their enterprise. They want to make profit.

Second: If it was the case that companies mining in such way would minimise damage and take care of the environment, we wouldn't see one after the other scandal all over the world. E.g. aluminium poisons the ground waters in Mayo (=> shelltosea.com). E.g. oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico etc. etc.

You are talking about a dream world here, Pat. And I don't see you recognising the concerns of the locals who, at the end of the day, have to deal with a poisoned and destroyed environment.

If you call people who are concerned about their neighbouring evironment rejecting any wreckless exploitation of its heritage NIMBYs, then I am a NIMBY too!

Pat said...

Charlie said...
First of all it is the MINING COMPANY which benefits from such mining. They want to make profits. They don't do that because they want all of us to benefit from their enterprise. They want to make profit.

Of course the mining company want to make a profit. Every company from children's clothes manufacturers to companies researching a cure for cancer are trying to make a profit. However, children benefit from those clothes and hopefully hundreds of thousands of cancer sufferers will derive some benefit from the endeavours of the research companies. Only a fool would expect all companies to strive to make a loss.


Second: If it was the case that companies mining in such way would minimise damage and take care of the environment, we wouldn't see one after the other scandal all over the world. E.g. aluminium poisons the ground waters in Mayo (=> shelltosea.com). E.g. oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico etc. etc.


If there was no demand for mined materials, companies would not mine. If there was no demand for oil, oil companies would not drill. Anyone such as yourself who uses oil and mined minerals every day should be happy for those things to be extracted locally such that you can have a greater input regarding good stewardship.


You are talking about a dream world here, Pat. And I don't see you recognising the concerns of the locals who, at the end of the day, have to deal with a poisoned and destroyed environment..


It is you who is living in a dream world Charlie. If you do not think mining is acceptable in your country, you should also agree with people from other countries who would prefer the cessation of mining in their countries to supply your needs. If you are really concerned about the Gulf of Mexico you should be campaigning for the worldwide cessation of international trade. You should immediately discard any possessions you own which may have caused environmental damage to someone else's back yard.


If you call people who are concerned about their neighbouring evironment rejecting any wreckless exploitation of its heritage NIMBYs, then I am a NIMBY too! .

Nobody has proposed anything reckless. In your attempt to give a hint of credibility to your post, you have wandered off into a complete fantasy world. That is a typical attribute of a NIMBY. At least you are making progress in that you have recognised yourself to be a selfish, don't give a damn about anyone else's back yard, NIMBY. You are clearly someone who is only too willing to exploit the minerals extracted from third world countries by people who see very little benefit from providing the products which you consume. You obviously don't give a second thought for the environmental impact in poor countries while you live in your comfortable house with your luxury goods, as long as you can't see it as you drive your luxury car to collect your welfare cheque.

Charlie said...

Who are you Pat that you judge over me in that way? You don't know anything about me and conclude phantasy about me and my behaviour. How about opening your profile to the readers?

You seem not to read the matter of my posts. When I say that I'm against only profit oriented mining on the burden of the local people and environment you can not conclude that I wasn't concerned about mining at other places (3rd world countries).

It looks like you only want to provoke the people with your posts. It sounds like unsubstantial propaganda. And it smells a bit fishy as long as you hide your profile.

Pat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat said...

previous post deleted because the link didn't work.



Rather than waste time splitting the discussion between two blogs I'll post a link to the answers I've given elsewhere


Mining. Could YOU really live without it?

James Green Omagh said...

Either way its a giant scam at Cavanacaw.

It is now known that Omagh Minerals Ltd owners of the Cavanacaw Goldmine are currently under investigation by HMRC and DETINI suspected of serious Fraud. The currently being mined Kearney vein supposedly contained 92,000 proven ounces of gold, with excavation of the vein nearing completion only 17,500 ounces have been declared by the company. Some 70,000 ounces, valued at around 56 Million Pounds are unaccounted for.
HMRC have calculated that the shortfall could represent a loss in VAT and Corporation Tax of up to Twenty Million Pounds to the exchequer.
There are only two possibilities, either the forecast of 92,000 ounces on the basis of which investors sunk up to £25,000,000 in the company was grossly exaggerated, or Gold to the value of £56,000,000 has been bootlegged out of the country.
Either way a Gigantic scam is taking place at Cavanacaw which we believe goes right to the heart of government, with Sammy Wilson and Edwin Poots having given the company the green light to do pretty much whatever they like. Effectively allowing them to ignore most of their planning conditions, and Omagh District Council having failed to introduce any kind of monitoring of the companies activities, despite being asked to do so as a matter of urgency by residents who realised something was going on.
On top of that, HMRC are also pursuing the company for £330,000 of unpaid aggregate levy in relation to the removal of rock. One HMRC official has described the sums involved as staggering.
All of the local MLA'S and Councilors are aware of the situation and can be contacted at their Omagh constituency offices.

cavanacawresidents@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Pictures of what your Ireland will look like in a few years!!!

http://www.aditnow.co.uk/photos-mines-quarries/?uid=4809

omaghminer...

Charlie said...

omaghminer. Are there any copyrights on that photos on http://www.aditnow.co.uk/photos-mines-quarries/?uid=4809
?

James Green Omagh said...

What the Goldmine friendly Ulster Herald wouldn't print.

Cavanacaw Goldmine / Omagh Churches Forum

In a recent Ulster Herald article from 09/09 2010, Mr Bob Lingwood, speaking on behalf of the Omagh Churches Forum, has been singing the praises of Cavanacaw Goldmine management from high heaven. We too are well aware of the importance of job creation and decent working conditions for people, and broadly speaking wouldn't disagree with him on this point, but in our opinion if the truth be told, never did the Lord inflict such an ungodly company on anybody as when He gave us Omagh Minerals.

I take it that as spokesperson for the Omagh Churches Forum you consider yourself a good Christian man Mr Lingwood, but how Christian an act is it to support a company who illegally removed up to 500,000 tons of contaminated waste rock which was then buried under the Aughnacloy bypass, undoubtedly poisoning the drinking water of Gods children for many years to come?

How Christian an act is it to support a company who in doing so, did up to half a million pounds worth of damage to the local roads infrastructure as figures released by DRD now show, and left the people of Tyrone to pay for it?

How Christian an act is it to support a company who have stockpiled a further estimated million tons of their contaminated waste rock which can be seen for miles, intent on supplying it, we are told, to the new A5 Dual Carriageway, poisoning more of Gods children between Omagh and Sion Mills? I hope the Lord finds in His goodness to forgive you for supporting these people Mr Lingwood, but I doubt if the children of Tyrone ever will.

Furthermore, Omagh Minerals are currently being pursued by HMRC for £330,000 of unpaid aggregate levy in relation to the rock removal scandal, they have made a number of appearances recently at Omagh Court because of a water pollution incident, on top of that the company’s own figures show that the almost exhausted Kearney vein which supposedly contained 92,000 proven ounces of gold, has so far only produced 17,500 oz a shortfall of some 70,000 oz valued at £56,000,000 at today’s prices. Is it any wonder that their 2009 accounts are showing deficits in the millions? We believe that the people of Omagh will once again be picking up the tab for this company in the not too distant future.

Cavanacaw Residents Group

cavanacawresidents@hotmail.com

caravan said...

I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.farmmachinery used

James Green said...

Environmental Disaster at Kolontar Hungary

Email - 09/10/2010





Dear Mr Poots,

Hungarian media are reporting that the toxic spill in Hungary has swept into springs and rivers and may reach the Danube River. If the toxic substances run into Eastern Europe’s main water artery several countries will be put at risk. Hungary’s leader has said the affected villages should be ''written off'. It was revealed that the storage pond of heavy metals waste that burst was on a watch-list of at-risk sites for accidents. The heavy metals involved at the Kolontar disaster are similar to those stored at the Cavanacaw site, (lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic).

Omagh Minerals relocated their toxic waste storage area (tailings pond) without planning permission, and without a new environmental impact assessment being carried out. It is also known that at times of high rainfall the tailings pond has been at near bursting point. Would you therefore agree that Cavanacaw should now be put on the list of at-risk sites?

Given that no enforcement action was taken by your department to prevent the illegal relocation of the tailings pond, will you and your colleagues at Minerals Division take responsibility should such a disaster occur at Cavanacaw?

We await your response.

Cavanacaw Residents Group.

Contact - Cavanacawresidents@hotmail.com

Charlie said...

Well done James Green!

In the Republic there's not even an emergency plan for such cases.

James Green said...

Kolontar conditions at Cavanacaw Goldmine, Criminal Negligence.
Check out - www.contaminatedwasterock.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

"Why did Cambridge Mineral Resources pass on its surveyed material to Moville Minerals Limited in the period 1998 to 2000, but this time not for diamonds, but for gold – without any public announcement, despite the Klondyke type advance notices prior to Cambridge embarking on its aerial survey? We were never told, despite promises, exactly what Cambridge found when they sent their results to Australia for analysis."

Actually no information needed to be "passed on" as it is all available to anybody via the Geological Survey of Irelands websites. Read it and you would know what was found - actually NOTHING to indicate the presence of diamond bearing rocks.

A little research would have saved you a lot of time ranting on about something you learly know nothing about. This is a major problem in this country - stupid, ill informed people thinking they know something about something when it is obvious they dont. Need I say Fainna Fail !!!!!!

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