Court in Çanakkale halts exploration activities of four gold mining companies in Kaz Mountains
ÇANAKKALE – Doğan News Agency
The court ruled that ÇED reports were insufficient to indicate the potential environmental damage that gold mining could cause in the Kaz Mountains. DHA photoA local administrative court in the Western province of Çanakkale has ruled to halt exploration activities of four gold mining companies in the province Dec. 12, stating that the mandatory environmental impact assessment reports (ÇED) were insufficient.
The court said the reports prepared by experts have not been carried out adequately, pointing at the potential environmental damage that gold mining could cause in the six different areas, all located nearby the Kaz Mountains (also known as the Ida Mountains), where the companies sought to begin mining for gold. The mountain range located along the northern coast of the Aegean Sea is known for its untouched nature.
The four companies include the Australian-based firm Chasser, which carried out exploration activities in two different villages, the Turkish mining company Tüprag and the two local mining companies of North Biga and East Biga.
A local environmental NGO that had sued the companies, asking the annulment of the ÇED reports, said it would be very difficult for the companies obtain the license required to be able to explore for gold after the court’s ruling.
“We see the ruling as a very good decision for the local water, air, trees and birds. [Their activities] were a threat to our habitat. It would have had a negative impact to all natural life,” Hicri Nalbant, spokesperson of the Çanakkale Environment Platform, said. Companies still have the right to appeal the decision to a higher court.
The administrative court has also annulled a decision to change the olive cultivation regulation, which would have enabled mining and energy exploration activity in areas dedicated to the olive agriculture industry, one of the most important assets of the local economy.