Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1551)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

1551. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of an application for a prospecting licence by a company (details supplied) to prospect for base metals in County Galway; his plans to grant the licence; the timeframe for same; the process involved in the granting or refusal of the licence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36896/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

An application was made to my Department by Gold Note Minerals Ltd on behalf of BTU Metals Corporation for the renewal of three Prospecting Licences in respect of Prospecting Licence Areas (PLAs) 1431, 2295 and 3145, which cover a number of townlands in County Galway. This application was published in the Connacht Tribune on 25th July, 2019 and was open for consultation for a period of 30 days.

In considering applications for prospecting licences, my Department undertakes environmental screening of all the prospecting activities proposed to be undertaken under the licence if granted, including screening for Appropriate Assessment and, in the case where specific locations for drilling or 'drill targets' are identified, screening for Environmental Impact Assessment.

In view of the number of submissions received and the wide range of issues raised by members of the public in the context of the application, this application is still under consideration. It is expected that it will be a number of weeks before all of the issues raised have been fully considered. Following on from this a final decision will be made on the application.