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Environmental Policy

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 June 2021

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Ceisteanna (156)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Ceist:

156. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if his attention has been drawn to the serious concerns of the local community in the Inishowen peninsula, County Donegal at plans for gold mining in the area; and if he will not grant any permission for such mining to proceed. [29123/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Environment)

The licence application referred to is for a renewal of a prospecting licence, not a mining licence. A prospecting licence relates to the activity of prospecting (exploring) for minerals and does not, if granted, give a licence holder permission to mine. All prospecting licence applications, including renewals, are subject to public consultation giving all stakeholders and local communities an opportunity to make an input. Where a licence holder seeks to have a licence renewed, the application is evaluated by the Geoscience Regulation Office of my Department. Where renewal is proposed, a renewal offer is made to the holder, setting out the terms and area of the prospecting licence. If the holder accepts the offer, legislation requires 21 days’ public notice of the Minister’s intention to renew a prospecting licence and for the receipt of any submissions. In practice the Minister allows for a 30 days’ notice period. Notification is given through a printed notice in the newspaper that is most relevant to the prospecting licence area under consideration. The Minister’s Intention to Grant Notices is also sent for public display to the appropriate Garda station(s), local authority office(s) and the Geological Survey Ireland.

Additional information on the process of granting prospecting licences and making submissions is available online on my Department's website.

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