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Natural resources extraction must be balanced between environment and benefit – Stanley

17 May, 2017 - by Brian Stanley TD

Speaking on the Minerals Development Bill, Sinn Féin spokesperson for the Environment Brian Stanley TD has said that we need to use the mineral resources the state has to the benefit of the people and to ensure the best value for the State.

The Laois TD said:

“We see three key areas of concern; royalties, safety, and environmental protection. The Bill is primarily concerned with modernising and consolidating the legislation underpinning the licensing of mining in the state. We must remember that mining in this country is certainly big business with large annual turnovers of the leading companies.

“Ireland has many diverse mineral deposits and is a large producer of some minerals. We are the largest producer of zinc in the whole of Europe and have 10% of European lead mine output.  We recognise the direct and indirect benefits the mining industry can have for the economy but we must also ensure we are getting the best value in terms royalties.

“Apart from these financial benefits to the state, there are other concerns, such as environmental implications and safety matters to be considered. The environment, and how we manage, use or abuse that environment, has implications for future generations. After mining has finished at a particular site, we do not want to see a scarred landscape, as is present at the Silvermines site.

“We largely welcome the Bill but we it does open up questions of how all our State assets have been dealt with in the past and the financial loss to the people. Whatever natural resources are available to the state, whether onshore minerals, offshore gas or our renewable energy resources, they must be managed so the people of the state benefit as much as possible.” 

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