Dundee Abandons Cyanide Gold Mining in Bulgaria over 'Public Concerns'

Industry | June 21, 2010, Monday // 20:17|  views

Dundee plans to invest USD 100 M in the development of the Ada Tepe gold deposit near Krumovgrad. Photo by dpm-group.com

Toronto-based mining company Dundee Precious Metals has abandoned plans for a gold mine near Bulgaria’s Krumovgrad using cyanide technology.

Balkan Minerals and Mining, a local subsidiary of Dundee Precious Metals, has asked the Bulgarian Environment Ministry to terminate the procedure for certifying gold extraction using cyanide near Krumovgrad, and has submitted a new project for gold mining without the use of cyanide.

The news comes a few months after a Bulgarian court ruled against the cyanide gold extraction at the other mine operated by Dundee’s other subsidiary in the country, Chelopech Mining. The mine is located near the village of Chelopech.

“We maintain our position that this is the best available mining technology. The reasons we are giving it up are the public concerns over its potential risks,” said Alex Nestor, Corporate and Foreign Relations Director for Bulgaria of Canadian company Dundee Precious Metals.

The company plans to process the gold concentrate extracted in Bulgaria outside the country. At the beginning of 2010, the Toronto-based company acquired a smelter in Namibia, which could be used for the purpose.

Dundee’s new project about the Krumovgrad mine does not provide for the previously planned facility for extraction using cyanide, and will occupy a smaller area of the Ada Tepe deposit near the southern Bulgarian town.

The project provides of a USD 100 M investment, which is less than the previous plans for investing USD 120-150 M including a cyanide installation, Nestor announced.

In his words, the Krumovgrad mine will produce about 800 000-1 million tones of gold concentrate per year.

The Bulgarian Environment Ministry is going to decide if the project needs a new environmental assessment, while Balkan Minerals and Mining is going to prepare a compatibility assessment with the European protected areas network NATURA 2000 because the Ada Tepe area falls within the network.

“If there are no obstacles before the projects, the assessment reports will probably be ready by October, and we will be able to start a public discussion of the project in the Krumovgrad Municipality,” Nestor explained.

Dundee Precious Metals is a Toronto-based Canadian company with two Bulgarian subsidiaries-Chelopech Mining EAD, which is developing a gold and copper deposit at the town of Chelopech in western Bulgaria, and Balkan Mineral and Mining EAD, which is surveying a concession area near Krumovgrad in southern Bulgaria.

In the fall of 2009, people from another Bulgarian mountain town, Chepelare, raised their concerns over a potential Dundee mining project in the area because of the cyanide extraction technology.

The November 2009 interview of Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) with Alex Nestor, Corporate and Foreign Relations Director for Bulgaria of Canadian company Dundee Precious Metals READ HERE

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Tags: Dundee Precious Metals, Chelopech, Chelopech gold mine, Chepelare, Krumovgrad, mining, concession, Alex Nestor, environmental assessment, Chelopech Mining, Balkan Minerals and Mining


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