An informal open discussion and presentation about the situation at the Skouriotissa mine and the struggle to stop the pollution there will take place on Friday, November 1, in Nicosia, an initiative led by the Association of the people living in the villages near the mine “United Solia” and the Turkish Cypriot Environmental Society of Lefke and Xero / Gemikonagi.
In an announcement on the event, the ‘Initiative against Gold Extraction – NoGoldCy’ stressed that “an amending law has been filed in the parliament which will ban the use of cyanide in the mining waste management. In order to pass it needs the support of all of us.”
As it goes on to explain, “for two years now, the Skouriotissa mine is processing and extracting some traces of gold with the use of cyanide from old mining waste. This activity leaves behind tones of cyanide waste that can have serious effects on the environment, farming and the health of people living in the area. This is something that our Turkish Cypriots compatriots from Lefka know well, as they live in an area already damaged by the previous mining activity and the use of cyanide.”
According to the organisers of the event/discussion, “it was known recently that the permits with which the mine is working were given irregularly, without the existence of regulations that put the law in practice, without planning permission, while they were given a permit to handle the waste, before they were given a permit to produce the waste. More recently the mine has started to process imported waste for the extraction of Nickel, and has started a communication to move 12 million tons of waste from the north of Cyprus to process the copper and gold residues.”
Calling people to join the event and raise awareness of the issue, the initiative estimates that the recent activity of the mine raises concerns to the people living in the near by villages and has to concern everyone.
“The mine is just 46km away from Nicosia while the products that are produced in the near by villages end up in our plate, every day.”
They also estimate that the continuation of this process will only entice more companies to start extracting gold and silver, while they declare that one company has already attained a permit to do exploratory drilling at the perimeter of the foothills of Troodos mountains, with their first target being the Paphos forest where they have also found copper and gold.
“Everyone is needed in this battle, to stop the use of cyanide, to protect our environment and our health,” concluded the open to the general public invitation.
The event will take place at Meltemi on Onisilou Street, 6-8 in the old town of Nicosia at 6pm on November 1. More information on +357 99 191 164 or on facebook/meltemicy