Save County Clare from mining
Save County Clare from mining
We ask Minister Ryan to refuse to grant a prospecting license to Minco Ltd. in County Clare. Please copy and paste, add your name and address and send from your email to GSRO@decc.gov.ie by next Saturday the 8th of January:
Email: GSRO@DECC.gov.ie before 23:59 Saturday 8th January 2022
To: Geoscience Regulation Office,
Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications,
29-31 Adelaide Road,
Ref: M. A. 1543/ PLA 3788
Re: prospecting licences for Base Metals, Barytes, Gold (Ores of,) and Silver (Ores of,) to Minco Ireland Ltd., Coolfore Road, QME, Ardbracken, Navan, Co. Meath C15KXY3 over Townlands in Tulla Upper Barony and Bunratty Upper Barony in County Clare.
I wish to object to the granting of prospecting licences for Base Metals, Barytes, Gold or Silver to Minco Ireland Ltd.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions and the Christmas/ New Year period since the 9th Dec 2021 when the intention to grant prospecting licences was made public, it is felt that inadequate time for public consultation or awareness nor for the preparation of submissions has been given.
We note that the owner of the previous prospecting license for this area has surrendered the licence in 2020 and states; ‘Hannan’s believes the licence block is prospective for shallow to sub cropping Waulsortian hosted Zn-Pb mineralization. However, due to recent land developments follow-up of these targets has become more difficult. Therefore, Hannan decided to focus its exploration efforts in other parts of the licence block.’
The company behind the current application is Minco Ireland Ltd. which was a subsidiary of Minco Plc., ‘a company connected to controversial mining projects across the world.’  Mr. Kearney is director of Minco Ireland Ltd but also involved with Minco Plc, Buchans Resource Ltd. (a former subsidiary of Minco Plc.) and the newly created Minco Exploration Ltd. which now owns Minco Ireland Ltd. Minco Plc was bought by Dalradian Resources Inc. in 2017, which is the parent company of Dalradian Gold Ltd. who’s practices in Northern Ireland were highlighted in a recent BBC Spotlight programme.
Previous reports on Prospect licensing area 3788 state, ‘The Milltown drilling indicated a non-JORC compliant resource of approximately 400,000 tonnes grading 12% zinc plus lead. The area is about 51 sqKm but it must also be noted that the previous owners of the license area (Hannan Metals Ltd.) mentions a block of 10 contiguous licences being explored with a total of 35,000 hectares (350 sqKm), including the Kilbricken area in which they are extremely interested in, calling it the ‘Company’s flagship project’ because it promises zinc, lead, silver and copper and is one of the ‘top 10 base metal deposits in Ireland by tonnes and grade.’ This scale of extraction cannot be taken lightly and must be carefully considered in its impact on environmental and social sustainability.
The proposed Prospecting Licence area no. 3788 covers the following protected landscapes: Newgrove House SAC, Glendree Bog SAC, Old Domestic Buildings, Rylane SAC and Slieve Aughty Mountains SPA, Maghera Mountain Bog NHA, Osyterman’s Marsh NHA and Cloonloum More Bog NHA.
In Europe mining is increasingly affecting Natura 2000 and Ramsar sites, which have been set aside with the intention of conserving nature and 81 % of habitats and 63% of the species that these laws were designed to protect still have an 'unfavourable' conservation status according to the European Environment Agency
Gold mining is one of the most destructive industries in the world. It can displace communities, contaminate drinking water, destroy the landscape, has a negative impact on small-scale farming and fishing, and eco-tourism  while also being a threat to existing employment in the area.
Mining is associated with the largest amount of toxic waste produced by any industry. Toxic waste is normally stored in heaps onsite and can cause severe ecological damage and pose threats to surrounding communities. Within the mining industry there are a large number of harmful chemicals that are used in the process which have the potential to negatively impact air and water quality. These include mercury and cyanide. Globally, mining also dumps mining waste directly into lakes, rivers and oceans: over 220 million tonnes each year.
Ordnance Survey Ireland maps of the Tulla/ Bunratty area show a combination of ‘rock at or near surface or karst’, (no natural protection of groundwater), ‘extreme’ and ‘high’ levels of groundwater vulnerability. 
The process of mining, and gold in particular, is a significant emitter of greenhouse gases and will not help us in the fight against climate breakdown. Given the Climate and Biodiversity Emergency which we are in, every effort should be made to restore and regenerate soil and our ability to grow food crops for future generations. Mining will destroy any chances of this in the area.
Clare’s many natural amenities, including the Burren and Lough Derg, flank either side of the proposed prospecting area and are a huge draw for holiday makers and tourism is currently a growing industry throughout the county. The issuing of any type of license to mining companies would have a damaging effect on this.
We are asking to protect our natural environment, people, air, water, soil and existing industries such as eco-tourism and sustainable agriculture and fishing and not issue these licenses.
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