Protecting the environment

We respect the environmental heritage of the area which includes an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Our operations will be subject to the most stringent and rigorous regulatory standards. We will be frequently inspected by the appropriate agencies.

It is our responsibility to protect the environment, and to be careful stewards of our habitats and species. We have already spent £1 million to protect the Owenkillew River, including the fresh water pearl mussels. This has included working with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency to install 2,000m of fencing to reduce animal trespass and associated silt build up into the Owenkillew River and its tributaries.

We have undertaken an extensive Environmental Assessment, and will submit an Environmental Statement considering landscape and visibility, noise, water, air quality and public health, amongst other studies.

At the proposed mine, we will:

  • Monitor levels of dust, noise, vibration, radon etc., as we do at our current site

  • Not use a tailings dam or pond. Instead we will use the dry stack method (like a wet sand) which will be continuously rehabilitated

  • Recycle as much water on site as possible

  • Test and treat all surface and underground water before leaving our site at our purpose-built waste water treatment plant. We will even test the rainwater!

  • Ensure that the concentration of cyanide at the end of the process will be below the EU limits. Material that has come into contact with cyanide will not be left on surface, instead it will be detoxified and returned underground.

  • We look forward to the opportunity to sharing additional details during the upcoming consultation events.

    Environment Infographic

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    Management of cyanide

    We've committed to the International Cyanide Management Code (ICMC).

    We understand community concerns around cyanide. It is one of the most highly regulated substances in the world and as such will be stored, used, controlled and managed in a manner protective of employees, the environment and the public.

    Our proposed process includes methods to minimise the use of cyanide, as well as cyanide detoxification prior to any substance leaving the processing plant.

    Gold bearing material will be separated by a simplified physical process prior to chemical treatment, greatly minimizing the use of cyanide. Only material which has not come into contact with cyanide will be placed on surface.

    Material that has come into contact with cyanide will be detoxified prior to leaving the process plant and will be place back underground as backfill. Cyanide detoxification will reduce the concentration of cyanide to less than what you’d find in a handful of almonds or a scoop of decaffeinated coffee.

    Use of Cyanide

    Below are some of the specialists we work with: