Ty­rone gold mine could bring huge ben­e­fits to NI, says quar­ry­ing group

Belfast Telegraph - - BUSINESS - BY MAR­GARET CAN­NING

A PRO­POSED gold mine in Co Ty­rone could bring “sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic ben­e­fit” to North­ern Ire­land, an in­dus­try body has claimed.

And Gor­don Best, chair­man of the Quarry Prod­ucts As­so­ci­a­tion North­ern Ire­land (QPANI), said the min­ing and quar­ry­ing in­dus­try could cre­ate “hun­dreds of well-paid jobs” with bet­ter un­der­stand­ing and sup­port.

Writ­ing in trade pub­li­ca­tion Plant and Civil En­gi­neer, Mr Best said the quar­ry­ing in­dus­try in North­ern Ire­land could be­come the “envy of the world”.

He said dis­cus­sions around min­ing for gold in Gortin in Co Ty­rone by Cana­dian com­pany Dal­ra­dian had cre­ated de­bate.

The com­pany is ex­pected to sub­mit a planning ap­pli­ca­tion for the mine at Cur­raghinalt site un­der the Sper­rin Moun­tains in the next few months. Dal­ra­dian has said a fully work­ing mine could sup­port 300 con­struc­tion jobs dur­ing the build, with a fur­ther 350 roles dur­ing the mine’s life­time.

Res­i­dents have said they are con­cerned about the po­ten­tial en­vi­ron­ment im­pact of a mine.

Bud­get boost: James Bro­ken­shire

But Mr Best said QPANI had high­lighted “the sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic ben­e­fit that a suc­cess­ful planning ap­pli­ca­tion and fu­ture op­er­at­ing gold mine in the Sper­rins would bring, not just to the north west, but the whole of North­ern Ire­land”. He added: “Dal­ra­dian’s project rep­re­sents a great op­por­tu­nity for Ty­rone, a county with a strong his­tory of min­eral ex­trac­tion, man­u­fac­tur­ing and en­gi­neer­ing.

“Some of the world’s lead­ing min­eral and con­struc­tion ma­te­rial han­dling equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers are based in Ty­rone and a gold mine in the county is a great fit for the skills, knowhow and ex­pe­ri­ence that al­ready ex­ist there.

“I am sure that build­ing on that col­lec­tive ex­pe­ri­ence, Dal­ra­dian’s gold mine will be a ma­jor boost to the econ­omy in Ty­rone and in­deed for the whole of the west of the Bann.’’

He said the is­land of Ire­land had a long his­tory of min­ing, with the in­dus­try mak­ing a ma­jor con­tri­bu­tion to the econ­omy on both sides of the bor­der.

“I have no doubt that with bet­ter un­der­stand­ing, com­mu­nity sup­port and in­sis­tence on world class op­er­a­tional re­quire­ments, we could have a min­ing and quar­ry­ing in­dus­try in North­ern Ire­land that would be the envy of the world, would cre­ate hun­dreds of well paid jobs and make an enor­mous con­tri­bu­tion to the fi­nan­cial pot the Ex­ec­u­tive and As­sem­bly has to in­vest in lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, health, ed­u­ca­tion and in­fra­struc­ture.”

Mr Best said the Bud­get pub­lished by the Sec­re­tary of State James Bro­ken­shire in West­min­ster yes­ter­day had brought the sec­tor some cer­tainty.

But he said there had been “no real change” for in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing, with a 1.1% in­crease in cap­i­tal bud­gets for 2017/18.

“The bud­get ... has at least given us some sort of cer­tainty go­ing for­ward for the rest of this fi­nan­cial year.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.