Canada-based intermediate gold producer Alamos Gold is wreaking havoc in Turkey’s Kirazlı village in the northwestern province of Çanakkale as it prepares for the construction of a gold and silver mine, wrote left-wing news site Artı Gerçek columnist Pelin Cengiz on Saturday.
Over 195,00 trees have been felled, four times the amount indicated in the environmental impact assessment report approved by the ministry (ÇED) to make way for the Alamos project consisting of 1,541 hectares of mineral tenure in the Kaz Mountains of Turkey, Cengiz said.
A reported 20,000 tonnes of cyanide will be used and the water resources of 24 villages face contamination in the project that is located only 30 kilometres to central Çanakkale, the article added.
Numerous civil-rights organisations have rolled up their sleeves against the mine, however, a motion to investigate the construction of the mine carried to parliament by 26 deputies from Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) was voted down by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Doğu Biga, the Turkish company overseeing the project, received permission to begin construction for the project in March 2019 from the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Cengiz wrote, quoting a Çanakkale organisation fighting environment destruction, İDA, as saying the subject matter expert (SME) investigation on the project was not done in accordance to the law and the views of experts from the region were not consulted.
“The administrative court accepted its own the SME report and did not pay attention to the objections being made on the project,’’ the İDA report went on to say.
Despite Alamos’ claims of sustainable development and social responsibility, “The Kaz mountains, forests, water resources, living beings and an entire ecosystem are being killed in Çanakkale,’’ Cengiz wrote, and in broad daylight before everyone’s eyes.
The Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats (TEMA) has started a petition to stop the mining operations and has already received over 100,000 signatures thus far.
Alamos expects a 24 month development timeline in Kirazlı, including approximately three months of pre-commercial production.