Infrastructure Minister, Chris Hazzard has announced that any planning application for the Dalradian project will be the subject of an independent public enquiry.

Speaking at a Derry City and Strabane District Council meeting in December 2016 Independent Councillor Paul Gallagher called for Minister for Infrastructure Chris Hazzard ‘to halt the current inadequate consultation process being undertaken by Dalradian Resources on their proposed gold mining project in Curraghinalt and Greencastle’.

The motion requested that ‘the Minister establish an all encompassing public enquiry to investigate the issues arising from these proposed gold mining operations’.

Following the announcement Minister Hazzard said: “It is my understanding that a planning application for the Dalradian Gold Mine project at Greencastle, County Tyrone is likely to be submitted to my Department in the next few months.

“If and when the application is submitted I have instructed my officials to make it the subject of an independent public inquiry at an appropriate stage in the planning process.

“It is clear to me that the planning application will be both complex and controversial involving a wide range of views and in depth information to assess the potential socio-economic and environmental impacts, both positive and negative, of the proposed development.

“Before any decision is taken it would be beneficial to have a public inquiry and report which has independently considered the views of stakeholders, including the local community, and has scrutinised the information provided by all interested parties.

“The fact that I am minded to take this process route is without prejudice to the statutory planning process.”