Bulgaria Embattled Minister Ready to Live near Dundee Gold MineEnvironment | December 17, 2011, Saturday // 18:25| views
Environment Minister Nona Karadzhova granted a go-ahead to Dundee Precious Metals' plans for a big open-pit gold mine near the town of Krumovgrad, overriding the fierce opposition of the community. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency
Bulgaria's environment minister has made it clear she is ready to do everything to promote Dundee Precious Metals' controversial plan for a gold mine in the country, even if it means risking her life.
"I am ready to move to Krumovgrad and live there," Nona Karadzhova declared in an attempt to assuage fears, voiced both by the openly hostile local community and the municipality, over the mine's impact on the environment and the people's health.
According to the minister the mine would bring much-needed wealth to the area and the country as a whole, while the water-based technology offered by the Canadian company is the safest one can get.
Tensions in the region escalated after Minister Karadzhova granted a go-ahead to Dundee Precious Metals' plans for a big open-pit gold mine near the town of Krumovgrad, overriding the fierce opposition of the community.
Bulgaria's environmental organizations are now challenging the decision at the Supreme Administrative Court.
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 Bulgarian cabinet gave on a 30-year concession the gold mine near the town of Krumovgrad to Dundee Precious Metals in February this year.
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.
The company has committed to invest USD 130 M in the project.
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