Thursday, 29 January 2004

Questions (119)

Phil Hogan

Question:

116 Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if he will provide the necessary finance to carry out a site investigation on the property of a company (details supplied) in County Kilkenny in view of its stated objection to the proposed route of the M9 road; his views on whether this report should be carried out to verify the existence of the volume, quality and value of minerals in that area which are the subject of a licence or may be subject to a licence in the future in order to allow his Department to assess the validity of the objection as well as to quantify accurately the extent of potential compensation in order to ensure that the Bennettesbridge community are not necessarily disrupted or affected by the consideration of a new route arising from the above objection; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2606/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources)

The type of site investigations requested are not carried out by, or on behalf of, the Department. Current Government policy is to promote exploration and mining by private enterprise, and consequently the viability of potential mineral deposits must first be established by a minerals developing company at its own expense before any application for a mining lease is considered by the Department.

Regarding the mine site at Maddoxtown and its environs, the Department has no reason not to accept the company's expert's reports that viable deposits of minerals exist. The Department may need to commission consultants to advise it on the relevant issues, including the question of the quantum of compensation due for loss of royalties, if matters progress to that stage.

The Department has no role in assessing the validity of third party objections.