The Bulgarian Government granted a permit to Dundee Precious Metals, a Canadian-based company and to its Bulgarian branch Balkan Minerals and Mining, for extraction of gold using cyanide leaching technology at Ada Tepe, near Krumovgrad.
What measures does the European Commission consider to take in order to ensure the compliance of the Bulgarian Government with the Community Legislation (notably Directive 2006/21 on the management of waste from the extractive industries and the Water Framework Directive 2000/60), especially regarding the organisation of an adequate and inclusive public consultation?
Ada Tepe is located in the East Rodopi mountains, a region with very rich landscape and biological diversity. Gold extraction from an open-air mine will result into significant landscape deterioration and will seriously jeopardize commitments and obligations arising from the European Landscape Convention and the Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EC), as ratified by the Bulgarian State.
This plan is not only opposed by local people and Bulgarian local authorities, but also by citizens and authorities of neighboring areas in northern Greece and Turkey, as a possible cyanide poisoning of Maritza river will result into serious cross-border pollution affecting Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey.
In this regard, numerous mass demonstrations and protests have been organized. Public consultations made in the Municipality of Krumovgrad definitively show that the local people are against the project. They collected for this 10 000 signatures. In spite of the opposition of the local people and the people and authorities living in neighboring areas in northern Greece and Turkey against the project, the Ministry of Environment and Water of Bulgaria is supporting it further.
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