Court rules in favor of mining company in Cerattepe case
RİZEA case opened to overturn an Environment Ministry report permitting copper mining activities in the Cerattepe area of the northeastern province of Artvin has been rejected by a local administrative court in the Black Sea province of Rize.
The court ruled in favor of the ministry’s environmental impact report (ÇED) about the mining activities that are slated to be carried out by the Özaltın Construction Company in the Cerattepe part of the Kafkasör highland of Artvin, rejecting the request for the cancellation of the report that was lodged by 751 plaintiffs and their 61 lawyers.
In its 45-page decision, the court said mining activities could be carried out in state forests after required permissions were taken and that the planned project of the company did not conflict with the regulation.
It also said that even in areas such as national parks, culture and tourism preservation and development regions, as well as tourism areas, it was possible to engage in mining activities because the planned mine was not located within the banned areas, according to the law. Cerattepe is 660 meters away from the park boundary, meaning it is not under the scope of the tourism preservation and development area.
Özaltın’s efforts to extract minerals in the environmentally pristine Cerattepe area within a 38-hectare area created massive outrage earlier this year, with hundreds of protesters resisting the company’s efforts.
An expert report by the Environment Ministry dubbed an environmental impact report (ÇED) outlined a number of methods by which environmental side effects could be minimized during the construction of the mine in Cerattepe.
A total of 751 people and 61 lawyers filed a lawsuit on July 8, 2015, to annul the report’s implementation, marking the country’s biggest environment lawsuit.