Bulgarian Village Rises Up against Dundee Gold Mine

Business | July 31, 2012, Tuesday // 15:24| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Bulgarian Village Rises Up against Dundee Gold Mine “Chelopech Mining”, the subsidiary of Canadian Dundee Precious Metals, tried for several years to give the go-ahead to its plans in Chelopech, Bulgaria. Photo by BGNES

The local community near Dundee Precious Metals' gold mine in Bulgaria has grown even more hostile, claiming the company is detrimental for the environment and people's health.

"The village is shaken by explosions all the time, there are cracks in the walls of our homes, the air is dirty and the land – poisoned," complained Rayna Dimitrova from the village of Chelopech, which houses one of the mines operated by Dundee's subsidiary, Chelopech Mining, in Bulgaria.

According to a report in Sega daily tensions mounted after the company increased its output more than three times – from 900 000 to 2 million tons.

Tensions in another region - near the town of Krumovgrad- escalated at the end of last year after Environment Minister Karadzhova granted a go-ahead to Dundee Precious Metals' plans for a big open-pit gold mine there, overriding the fierce opposition of the community.

The people living in the poor Bulgarian town of Krumovgrad have been relentless in their protests against plans by Canadian mining company Dundee Precious Metals to open a big open-pit gold mine, spurred by the worldwide gold rush.

The people from Krumovgrad and the nearby villages in the picturesque Rhodope mountains, predominantly ethnic Turks and Pomaks, are worried that the planned waste facility would be just one kilometer away from the town and one kilometer away from the river.

The gold mine is located in the Krumovgrad municipality on lands of the villages of Guliya, Dazhdovnik, Zvanarka, Kaklitsa, Malko Kamnyane, Ovchari and Sarnak.

The Toronto-based mining company has repeatedly assured that Krumovgrad gold project will be beneficial for Bulgaria and the local community.

Under mounting public pressure the Canadian company was forced to abandon plans for using cyanide technology after a Bulgarian court ruled against the cyanide gold extraction at the other mine operated by one of Dundee's subsidiaries in the country, Chelopech Mining.

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Tags: Dundee Precious Metals, Chelopech, Krumovgrad
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