Established in December 2019, the Silent Majority is a group of ordinary residents who live in the area close to Dalardian’s proposed gold mine and is in support of the mines development.
The Group endorses the robust environmental standards employed by Dalradian; Gerry Kelly, Chair of the Silent Majority, said: “All human activity has the potential to impact our environment, but the greater our understanding of that potential, the more effective we can be in mitigating any impact. “
The Group comprises a Chair, a Vice-Chair, a Secretary and members; it has engaged with several politicians in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland to communicate its view point and support; they outlined the huge benefit of bringing good, well-paid, skilled jobs to the Sperrins region of West Northern Ireland.
In recent years, members of the Silent Majority, studied both the Lisheen and Galmoy mines with regard to their respective ‘world-class’ closure and sustainability programmes; such standards has given the Group the confidence to speak publicly in its support for mining in the Greencastle area of County Tyrone.
In visiting the Tara mine in 2018, the Group noted the significant contribution that the mine made to the surrounding areas in terms of well-paid, skilled jobs at the mine and the indirect benefits of assisting local economic development. The Tara mine is Europe’s largest zinc mine and has been in operation since the 1970s; in 2017, Boliden announced €44 million ‘Tara Deep’ development plan to enable production until at least 2023.
In establishing the Silent Majority, Mr Kelly noted that “this has not been without a struggle. Many locals who dared to think as we do have been ridiculed and even intimidated by the small but vocal number who wants everyone in our area to think as they do.”
In a separate development, Northern Ireland’s Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has formally called for a public inquiry into Dalradian’s pending application. Dalradian is in full support of this inquiry as it believes it will provide a further forum in which to engage on the facts of the project and to hear from all stakeholders. The proposed 25-year mine operation expects to support 1,000 jobs and provide a £750m boost to the economy.
The Irish Mining and Quarrying Society (IMQS) support mineral exploration and the development of mines on the island of Ireland where activity adheres to or surpasses the requirements of Ireland and Europe’s environmental, regulatory and planning systems and standards.