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Coonan Pressures Carey On Sale Of Lisheen Mines

Fine Gael TD Noel Coonan today contacted Minister for Communications Pat Carey TD, asking him to further clarify the situation regarding Lisheen Mines.

Lisheen Mine, Moyne, Co Tipperary

Newspaper reports suggest that owners, Anglo American are putting huge pressure on Minister Pat Carey to finally approve the mining company’s planned sale of Lisheen Mines, before the dissolution of the Dail tomorrow.

Anglo has indicated that it plans to sell the zinc mine to Indian company Vedanta for €308m. However, Deputy Coonan said there have been widespread concerns about Vedanta’s poor environmental and human rights record.

The Tipperary North / South Offaly TD said: “I contacted Minister Carey and the Secretary General of the Department of Communications and Natural Resources to convey my concern about the sale of Lisheen Mines. Serious questions have been raised at the highest political level about Vedanta’s record in other countries. My fear is that the musical chairs in Cabinet at the moment could put at risk not only the future of the mines, which employs around 370 people, but also the future of the local environment.

Deputy Coonan further stated: “The Department has informed me this afternoon that any sale will be ‘conditional on the new owners continuing to ensure strict compliance with the terms of the State Mining Lease and all other statutory permits and enactments, including the planning permission and Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Licence (IPPCL), not only during the remaining life of the mine but also in its closure, restoration and aftercare.’

The future of Lisheen Mines is something which I have campaigned on throughout my political career. It is vital that this is not put in jeopardy, by the current political paralysis in Government. Lisheen mines must to be safeguarded.

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