Connemara's natural environment will be under severe threat if the Government grants a prospecting licence to a Canadian mining company, the Green Party's Cllr Pauline O'Reilly, has warned.
It is understood that MOAG Copper Gold Resources is due to be issued with a prospecting licence to mine for base metals in the Ballinahinch, Boolagare, Callow, Dolan, Doohulla, Emlaghmore, Errisbeg West, Murvey, Tullaghlumman Beg areas of County Galway.
Serious concerns about the environmental impact of such mining has been raised by Cllr O'Reilly, who is also the Green's Galway West General Election candidate. "This poses an incredible risk in terms of the health of our community and nature," she said, pointing out that County Galway is already an area with high levels of radon.
"Where low levels of gold are discovered mining companies often treat the area with cyanide to uncover trace amounts," she said. "With heavy rainfall this can very easily be released into groundwater. People, farm animals, fish, and wildlife depend on clean freshwater."
She also pointed out that the laws on mining and drilling allow companies not to have to lodge environmental assessments prior to mining if the mining is being carried out at sea, and that mining can be carried out on private land without consent. She is calling on the public to make its opposition to the granting of any such mining licence known.
The deadline for objections is this Saturday [July 6] and these should be sent to Exploration and Mining Division, Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, 29-31 Adelaide Road, Dublin, D02 X285, or via email at [email protected].