01 May 2024

Critical Shifts in Dalradian Gold Inquiry: What You Need to Know

In a recent turn of events that impacts stakeholders and observers alike, there have been significant changes regarding the Public Inquiry into Dalradian Gold’s Planning Applications. As an organization committed to preserving the integrity of the Sperrins, we are closely monitoring these developments and aim to keep the public informed.

Key Dates and Developments:

Deadline for Statements of Case:

 Originally set for May 31, 2024, participants were gearing up to submit their comprehensive analyses and positions regarding the mining proposals. However, recent updates have changed the scope of these submissions.

Public Inquiry Start Date: 

Scheduled for September 10, 2024, the inquiry aims to delve into various aspects of the applications submitted by Dalradian Gold. This is an essential date for all stakeholders, as it will be a critical platform for voicing concerns and making decisions that could impact our environment and communities.

Recent Challenges:

The Public Inquiry faced setbacks when the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) failed to present requested evidence, leading to questions about the availability of crucial data. Additionally, the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) has made it known through their website that certain licence applications by Dalradian are now considered invalid and will not be included in the upcoming inquiry.

 Implications of Invalid Licences:

With the recent invalidation of the Abstraction & Impoundment Licence Applications, the focus of the inquiry has narrowed. The PAC advises the public to stay updated through their website for further information regarding the wider scope of the inquiry.

 Forward Movement:

In a noteworthy development, Dalradian has indicated its intention to submit two new applications in response to the invalidation of their prior submissions. The Department for Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA) has expressed their commitment to processing these new applications with “extreme urgency”.

 What This Means for Stakeholders:

This evolving situation presents a frustrating and pressured environment for all parties preparing for the inquiry, especially given the fluid nature of Dalradian’s applications. Stakeholders are advised to continue preparing their Statements of Case by the May 31 deadline, despite the shifting landscape.

 Our Commitment:

Save Our Sperrins remains dedicated to providing timely and accurate updates on these developments. As we navigate these challenging times, our commitment to safeguarding our environment and community interests stands firm. We urge all stakeholders and interested parties to stay engaged and informed.

For more updates, please visit the Planning Appeals Commission website at [pacni.gov.uk](http://pacni.gov.uk).

Stay involved, stay informed, and let’s ensure our voices are heard in this vital public inquiry.

Note: The conjoined nature of this public inquiry ties all aspects directly to the main Planning Application, emphasising the interconnectedness of the various components. This situation underscores the complexity and significance of the upcoming inquiry.

#SaveOurSperrins  #DalradianNoMore  #ProtectOurLands  #CommunityVoice  #NoToToxicMining  #EcoWarriors  #Dontmineus  #GoldmineInquiry #CleanWaterCleanAir  #UnitedForNature


25 April 2024

Navigating the Maze: An Urgent Call for Transparency and Extension in the Dalradian Gold Planning Inquiry

In the heart of our community, a critical issue unfolds as the Dalradian Gold Planning Inquiry tries to push forward amidst a storm of complexities and concerns.  Today, I feel compelled to voice the collective anxieties and pleas for fairness that echo through our streets and homes.

A Cry for Time

First and foremost, the demand for an extension to the deadline for submitting Statements of Case is not just a request—it’s a necessity. As residents scramble to protect their water, air, and land from potential toxic pollution, the overwhelming flow of constantly updated and often conflicting documentation makes it impossible to prepare adequately. It’s crucial to acknowledge that the task at hand is not feasible under the current conditions, with missing critical documents and unclear additions clouding our understanding.

The Unity of Applications

It’s essential to emphasise that the entirety of the Dalradian Gold application and all associated applications are intricately linked. Any attempt to segregate these within the inquiry undermines the comprehensive evaluation needed for such a significant proposal.

Barriers to Public Participation

At the Pre-Inquiry Meeting, we highlighted significant barriers preventing public participation. Unfortunately, these concerns persist, as the commission’s communications seem to discourage community attendance rather than welcome it. This approach starkly contrasts with the need for inclusive public engagement in decision-making processes, particularly when the stakes are as high as they are with this inquiry.

Financial Disparities

The financial backing that Dalradian Gold enjoys from mine finance banks, along with their arsenal of experts and legal counsel, starkly contrasts with the resources available to the public. This disparity creates an uneven playing field, which is further exacerbated by requirements like producing numerous hard copies of submissions, adding yet another hurdle for community members.

The Need for Candour and Fairness

The duty of candour by public officials and the extent to which it is exercised remains a glaring issue. Reports of overlapping interests among various departments and agencies during the lead-in period to the inquiry raise questions about the integrity of the processes that are supposed to protect our community and environment.

Inclusivity Concerns

The exclusion of nursing mothers and families with young children from the inquiry sessions is not just unfortunate but also unfair. As vital stakeholders in environmental  protection, their participation is crucial, and any policy that sidelines them only serves to erode trust in the process.

Embracing Modern Solutions

Considering the challenges in accessing independent expertise and the limited budgets of community protectors, allowing experts to present evidence via video link should be more than an exception; it should be a standard practice. This adjustment would acknowledge the difficulties faced by the community and facilitate a more inclusive and thorough examination of the issues.

A Plea for Clarity and Accessibility

Finally, the current system of managing and distributing inquiry documents is needlessly complex. Simplifying access to these documents, perhaps by marking new additions clearly and providing them well in advance of meetings, would significantly aid in public preparation and participation. As we stand at this crossroad, facing a project that could reshape our environment and community, the need for fairness, transparency, and inclusiveness has never been more
critical. It is with a hopeful heart that I call on the Planning Appeals Commission to consider these points earnestly and to act in the true spirit of public service and environmental stewardship.

#SaveOurSperrins  #DalradianNoMore  #ProtectOurLands  #CommunityVoice  #NoToToxicMining  #EcoWarriors  #Dontmineus  #GoldmineInquiry #CleanWaterCleanAir  #UnitedForNature

22 April 2024

A Deep Dive into the Recent Regulatory Correspondence Involving Dalradian Gold Ltd’s Water Licenses

In a recent letter (https://bit.ly/4a3Hiid) dated April 18, 2024, the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) addressed significant concerns to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) regarding the water abstraction and impoundment licenses for Dalradian Gold Ltd. This correspondence is a crucial element in understanding the regulatory landscape of water usage and the enforcement of environmental laws in Northern Ireland. 

The Core of the Matter

The letter outlines a Public Local Inquiry under the Water Abstraction and Impoundment (Licensing) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006. These inquiries pertain to applications submitted by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) on behalf of Dalradian Gold Ltd., specifically AIL 2020/0105 and AIL 2020/0106, aimed to abstract and impound water for mining operations.

The Inquiry and Procedural Issues

During the pre-inquiry meeting, various procedural matters were discussed, focusing on the proper handling and timing of the license applications. The Commissioner asked DAERA if any extensions were sought concerning the decision timelines for these licenses. It was initially confirmed that such extensions had been requested and granted. However, subsequent communications revealed that no extensions were officially issued by DAERA, creating a regulatory and procedural discrepancy.

Regulatory Deadlines and Legal Implications

According to Regulation 19 of the licensing regulations, the department should decide on such applications within four months from the receipt date, unless an agreed extension is written. Without such an extension, the applications are deemed refused after the lapse of the deadline. In this case, since no extensions were granted, the licenses were considered refused by January 30, 2021. The lack of any appeal against this deemed refusal further complicates the legitimacy of any ongoing inquiry into these applications.

Commission’s Stance and Future Implications

The PAC has raised serious concerns regarding DAERA’s management of this matter, suggesting that the department might not have had the lawful authority to conduct a Public Inquiry concerning these applications. This scenario points to potential deliberate miscommunications or misrepresentations by DAERA’s representatives during the pre-inquiry phase.

Openness and Transparency

The PAC’s decision to make this correspondence public on their website underscores their commitment to transparency. This move also indicates the seriousness of the issues at hand and sets a precedent for handling similar cases in the future.


This letter is more than a procedural notice; it is a testament to the intricate checks and balances within Northern Ireland’s environmental regulatory framework. As we await DAERA’s response by the deadline of April 24, 2024, this situation highlights the importance of rigorous regulatory adherence and the potential consequences of administrative oversights.

The upcoming developments will undoubtedly be crucial for all stakeholders, including the local communities affected by mining operations, environmental activists, and the regulatory bodies themselves. This case could also influence future regulatory processes and the enforcement of environmental laws in Northern Ireland.

Stay tuned for updates on this developing story.

Dalradian Gold Public Inquiry Update

The Pre-Inquiry meeting occurred at Strule Arts Centre in Omagh on Wednesday, March 20th. All parties present, seated around the table on the stage, were accompanied by legal representatives, with the exception of ‘Save Our Sperrins’. Due to space constraints, their legal representation was situated among the audience, despite ample space available on the stage.

The scope of the inquiry was the primary topic of discussion. Three commissioners facilitated the meeting, addressing each representative group around the table with relevant questions regarding their readiness for the inquiry. It became apparent to all attendees that there was a noticeable lack of preparation among certain public servants, which was only brought to light through the commissioners’ probing.

Timetabling was another significant issue raised during the meeting. Concerns were expressed by multiple parties regarding the insufficient time allocated for preparation, especially given the limited availability of crucial documents. It remains uncertain whether the inquiry can proceed as planned within the designated timeframe due to the apparent lack of readiness from several government departments and the delayed release of necessary documents.

Following the discussion on timetabling, there was a thorough explanation of the procedures for the Public Inquiry. Participants seated in the balcony raised numerous questions, with many expressing a desire for the proceedings to be recorded or at least summarised. However, this request went unmet, leading to concerns about both the content included and omitted from the records. It became evident that those advocating for the collective future of local communities were facing challenges due to inadequate resources, time constraints, and limited access to expert guidance.

Public inquiry dates announced

The Planning Appeals Commission has announced the dates for the public inquiry into the Dalradian Goldmine, proposed for the Sperrins.


Pre-inquiry meeting:- 10.30am on 20/03/2024 – Strule Arts Centre, Omagh

Statements of case submitted by:- 4pm on 31/05/2024

Rebuttals submitted by:- 4pm on 03/07/2024

Public Inquiry opens:- 10.30am on 10/09/2024 – Strule Arts Centre, Omagh

All information relating to the public inquiry can be found here: https://www.pacni.gov.uk/curraghinalt-project-dalradian

16th June 2023

Save Our Sperrins Crowdfunder:
Second video appeal released

Mark Tierney, prominent Tyrone angler, speaks about his fears for the countryside and the damage a toxic goldmine will do if allowed to go ahead. PLEASE HELP US SAVE OUR CHILDREN FROM THE POISON OF GOLDMINING!

9th June 2023

Save Our Sperrins Crowdfunder for Public Inquiry launched

The ‘Save our Sperrins’ group have launched a Crowdfunder to help raise money to help fight the forthcoming public inquiry.

Use this link to Crowdfunder page to donate- any donation would be appreciated.

We are a small rural community in the Sperrins Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the north of Ireland. A Canadian goldmining company, called Dalradian Gold, has applied for planning permission for a toxic goldmine and massive waste dump, 54 metres/17 storeys high very close to our village, schools, church, community hall & sports fields. Goldmining is a dirty, toxic industry, well documented throughout the world for poisoning water, air, land and health. It produces sulphuric acid (acid mine drainage) and heavy metals like arsenic, mercury, cadmium, chromium, to name but a few, which cause respiratory diseases and numerous cancers.
As people who have lived in the Sperrins all our lives, we greatly fear that our children and grandchildren will no longer be able to live here without being poisoned. The Government has announced there will be a Public Inquiry into the Goldmine planning application. We need experts to represent our case and we need money to pay for the work of these experts to help us. This is truly a David and Goliath Battle. The goldmining company has unlimited money, with Orion Mine Finance funding them, as opposed to us ordinary country people with limited resources. We appeal to you to please give any money you can to our Crowdfunder, for the sake of our children and future generations. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

5th April 2023

Guide to the Public Inquiry Process

This guide aims to provide an overview of the public inquiry process, which is a formal investigation conducted by the Planning Appeals Commission to examine a particular planning application. The process is designed to gather evidence, hear testimony from witnesses and experts, and make recommendations to improve policies, procedures, or practices. The guide explains the different stages of a public inquiry, such as the terms of reference, the appointment of a chairperson, and the submission of evidence, as well as the role of stakeholders and the public in the process. 
Use this link or click on the image to view this guide.

September 2021

Mallon formally requests Public Inquiry to be held for Dalradian Gold Mine project

In 2021, the former Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon, called for a public inquiry into the Dalradian gold mining project in Greencastle. Although there is no confirmed date for the inquiry yet, it is expected to take place in late 2023.
We will provide additional information as it becomes available.