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Brussels to inspect the gold-mining activity of Dundee Precious Metal Inc. in Krumovgrad

A petition already sent to the European Parliament. Signatures of Krumovgrad citizens are being collected


raya.atanasova@ klassa.bg

The EU Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik, has ordered a verification of the legality of the gold mining concession contract signed with Balkan Mineral and Mining SPJSC, which was concluded without a proper Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The company is a subsidiary of the Canadian Dundee Precious Metals Inc. operating near the town of Krumovgrad, announced the Bulgarian Center for Green Economy.

The inquiry was commissioned by the MEP Michail Trempoulos from the Greek Green Party called Ecologist Greens, acting as Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Regional Development of the European Parliament (EP). Janez Potocnik Potočnik demanded explanations from the Bulgarian authorities and stated in response to the Greek MEP that if violations were detected, the European Commission (EC) would not hesitate to institute legal proceedings against Bulgaria in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

In fact, a complaint petition was already filed with the EP by the Bulgarian Civil Association Life for Krumovgrad, reported its Chairwoman, Maria Damyanova. Currently, signatures of Krumovgrad citizens are being collected.

In February, the Bulgarian GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria) government concluded a mining concession contract with the subsidiary of the Dundee Precious Metals Inc. The decision on the contract conclusion is appealed by Krumovgrad Municipality to the Supreme Administrative Court because the mining concession could not be granted without a completed EIA proper procedure. The case was scheduled to be heard on October 19.

On September 19, the Supreme Environmental Expert Council (SEEC) with the Ministry of Environment and Waters approved the EIA conducted on Dundee Precious Metals Inc., which covered merely one sixth of the concession area, reported also the Center. At that point, following the company's proposal, the Expert Council decided to allow pre-implementation of the mining project. "This means that regardless of instituting future appeals and cases with the Court, the project implementation could be launched along with the drawing out of mining permits. Since the Environmental Impact Assessment failed to reflect the public opinion, it was classified as unlawful," said Damianova.

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