We have an in­dus­try that could be­come the envy of the world

Belfast Telegraph - - BUSINESS - Gor­don Best

OUR quar­ry­ing and sand and gravel in­dus­try has been pro­vid­ing jobs and es­sen­tial ma­te­ri­als for many years and many com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in and around the Sper­rins are well known names.

It is also worth not­ing that a num­ber of the com­pa­nies have been and con­tinue to work with and sup­port com­mu­nity groups and en­vi­ron­men­tal non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions (NGOs) on restora­tion projects and work to pro­tect and en­hance bio­di­ver­sity.

Ire­land has a long her­itage of min­ing and con­tin­ues to make an im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion to the econ­omy, north and south.

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, 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.

QPANI has 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. 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, know-how and ex­pe­ri­ence that 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.

Gor­don Best is chair­man of the Quarry Prod­ucts As­so­ci­a­tion North­ern Ire­land

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