Macedonia mining: Nevsun gold exploration project Gevgelija, local communities prepares anti-gold campaign

23. February 2017. / Mining

Gevgelija is preparing for a referendum after the announcement related to opening of a gold mine.

This horror movie is neither filmed, nor will be filmed in Gevgelija and in Kozuf mountain. There are only investigations in Kozuf mountain, and there is no permit to open the mine, reacts Ivan Frangov, Mayor of Gevgelija after yesterday’s alarming information about the powerful effects on the environment if the gold mine near Konjsko is to be opened. Canadian company “Nevsun” has obtained two concessions for such investigations.

Geological investigations of the mountain near Konjsko village above Gevgelija are underway for possible deposits of copper and gold. Some information and videos about similar mines in other countries and their consequences on the environment at the beginning of excavation were published yesterday in social networks.

Citizens of Gevgelija immediately organized themselves on social networks and are already calling for a referendum against the possible construction of this mine on the territory of their municipality. Citizens are concerned about the forests, possible contamination of air, soil, water … In the town this project is already called “the mine of death.”

Canadian company “Nevsun” was granted the concession by the Macedonian government for the investigations of copper and gold deposits near Konjsko and Dvoriste villages. Investigations of the soil are underway.

Civil society organization “Save Gevgelija (Спас за Гевгелија)” has already started the initiative in order to provide information for the residents with all available data relating to activities on the possible opening of a gold mine in their community.

“We will inform you about the results of those activities and procedures that follow them, based on the global experience. Each of you will have the opportunity to get all necessary information about this economic activity through the large number of links that will be available for you. So that you can learn how gold is mined today in the world and where it is permitted. To be aware of the catastrophic consequences for the environment and human health from this activity worldwide. The ultimate goal of this initiative is that we all get together and say NO in referendum to mines in our community”, stated the association” Save Gevgelija”, which published in social networks a video regarding the process of opening a gold mine.

Mayor of Gevgelija Ivan Frangov said that all information about this mine will be available to citizens.

“No forest is cut to open the mine, there is no permission to build such mine and no procedure is initiated for obtaining the exploitation permit. There are geological investigations for possible deposits of gold on Kozuf mountain, but the results are not completed, and there is no indication about the type of mine. In order to open the mine, it is necessary to develop Environmental impact assessment study, which would be transparent, with public hearing, not just expert opinions and all this will have to get the consent and opinion, first by the municipality and the Ministry of environment. I understand the concerns of citizens and I support them and would not certainly allow as a mayor of the municipality and the citizens of Gevgelija that such environmental disaster occurs in the region. Only one thing concerns me, whether accidental or intentional, this news appeared on the same day when a major strategic project for Gevgelija is started supported by the Government, the EU and the World Bank, in particular the construction of a new water supply system. Do not worry, Gevgelija is our home and we will keep it safe and environmentally clean”, said Frangov.

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