Dáil Éireann - Volume 658 - 01 July, 2008

Written Answers. - Mining Licences.

Deputy Liz McManus asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the position regarding plans to open a tourism gold mine near Louisburgh, County Mayo; if he will address fears that the plans cover an area that is a designated area for special conservation and that the tourism mine may be converted into a full scale mining operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25776/08]

  Deputy Seán Power: An application for prospecting licences for gold and silver in respect of a number of areas in north Mayo was received in 2007. A prospecting licence entitles the holder to explore the designated areas for mineral deposits and is under consideration.

Any application to mine would require a State Mining Facility from the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, which would be subject to a public consultation process. Mining would also require planning permission from the local authority which involves Environmental Impact Assessment. An Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Licence would also be required from the Environmental Protection Agency.