Meeting on the mine
Residents attend en masse to hear about the controversial project - and are told about a protest on Sunday
Around 175 expats attended a meeting in English on Monday morning about the project for an open-cast mine in San Miguel de Salinas. A protest has been planned for Sunday.
By Nuria Pérez AROUND 175 expats attended a meeting in English on Monday morning about the project for an open-cast mine in San Miguel de Salinas.
Organiser Manolo Gómez, who is president of San Miguel Arcángel residents’ association, noted that a number of the residents have joined the fight against the scheme.
Most of them were British expats living in nearby urbanisations such as Las Filipinas, Torrestrella and Ciudad de las Comunicaciones, but people also attended from Torremendo village.
They were told about the stages of the scheme – prospecting first and, if the results are positive, a request to run an open-cast mine.
The residents were also shown a video of the mining company and a map of the area affected.
“When they saw the area on Google Maps and the video about similar mines, they were shocked and many of them have decided to do something about it,” explained Sr Gómez.
“They realised how close the scheme would be to their homes and the environmental and financial threat it poses to the town and themselves.
"It is very important that the scheme is stopped before a licence to prospect is issued, because this and the open-cast mine project are directly linked.”
Sr Gómez noted that residents have joined the association’s petition campaign and will ask their friends and neighbours to sign.
Other expats will distribute leaflets at the weekly market about a demonstration planned for Sunday.
Others have asked to attend the meetings of the antimine committee which is made up of association members, traders, neighbours, farmers, land owners and local businesspeople.
The demonstration starts at 12.00 from Calle 19 de Abril and finishes at the church square.
People will be asked to sign the petition, which will be attached to the official objections to the project and submitted to the regional department for industry.
Sr Gómez told Costa Blanca News that several British real estate agencies, the community of owners of Las Colinas golf and some building companies have also contacted the association.
“The fight does not stop when the official objections are submitted,” he said.
“I reiterate that the licence for prospecting should not be issued under any circumstances, because if this happens it will be very hard to prevent the open-cast mine project from getting the goahead.”
On Wednesday a full council meeting also decided to submit official objections against the scheme because it stands in a nature area with high environmental values.
The council highlighted that the scheme is at a very initial stage and an open-cast mine ‘is not in sight’.
However, national mining law dating back to 1973 grants mining the distinction of being an ‘activity of general interest’ and gives it ‘priority’.
The company has asked to prospect for gypsum in a 1,400-hectare area in San Miguel de Salinas and Orihuela.
It runs from the Camino de la Balsa road up to Torre Estrella and Ciudad de las Comunicaciones urbanisations, down to La Pedrera reservoir and the entrance of the town at the CV-95 road to Orihuela.
It was standing room only as expats crammed in to listen to Manuel Gómez