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Review finds underground mine will bring substantial economic and social benefits

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Review finds underground mine will bring substantial economic and social benefits

EY Concludes project will be a “significant and timely stimulus”

 An independent review into Dalradian’s proposed underground gold-silver-copper mine in West Tyrone, carried out by professional services firm EY and published today, has found that the mine will provide a “significant and timely stimulus” for the economy for more than 25 years should it receive planning permission.

The review assessed the mine’s potential economic and social impacts over time and concluded that the project will contribute to “a more prosperous, competitive and regionally balanced economy” and that these positive effects will be most substantial in the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area.

Other findings published in the report included that the mine would provide more highly skilled jobs, which would mean fewer people being forced to travel for work outside the area, and increased incomes for families, which would provide “greater choices for their children and help them reach their lifelong potential”.

The review sets the benefits of the project against EY’s outlook for the Northern Ireland economy, which forecasts that GDP will be 4% lower in 2022 than pre-pandemic levels due to COVID-19 and Brexit uncertainty. Dalradian’s project, however, which will support 1,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs, will produce a “long-term counter cyclical effect” to help mitigate this difficult economic position.

A summary of the review was presented to Fermanagh and Omagh District Council on Wednesday, 3rd February.

Welcoming the review, Patrick F N Anderson, Dalradian’s President and CEO, said:

“EY’s review highlights that our proposal will have a major positive impact on the economy.  Furthermore, it comments on the social and environmental aspects of the project, which are key considerations for us and our local community.

“The mine will provide a minimum of £4m in community funding, deliver a multi-million investment in training and further enhance the region’s STEM skills which are essential for leveraging its existing strong manufacturing and engineering base.

“Our project has been designed to respect the environment. It will be Europe’s first carbon neutral mine, operating in tandem with the local environment and within strict regulatory standards. 

“Good quality, long-term jobs are the bedrock of any community, increasing prosperity and resulting in a range of social benefits. With its positive economic and social impact, plus our commitment to deliver a hi-tech, environmentally responsible mine, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Tyrone.”

It’s estimated that building the mine will provide a £158m boost to the construction sector through supply chain expenditure and salaries. When operational, the mine will generate a further £21m in salaries and £46m in supply chain expenditure annually. An additional £360m will be invested in capital equipment.

During the mine’s construction, which will take up to two years, Dalradian will employ 300 people directly. A further 900 jobs will be created with suppliers and through increased spending in the local area. During operations the mine will employ 350 people directly and support around 650 indirect and induced jobs.

The review also noted that, based on similar mining operations elsewhere, 90% of Dalradian’s employees will be from the local area. Since 2014, Dalradian has provided 15,000 hours of training to its existing employees and has committed a further £15m to a three-year training programme to coincide with the mine’s construction.

The average salary for employees (£40,000) will be 1.8 times the Northern Ireland average and help increase the resilience of the community in what will be a difficult economic context.

Peter McKenna, Dalradian’s Community Relations Manager, added:

“Our proposals for an underground gold-silver-copper mine in Tyrone represent one of the largest private sector investments ever proposed for the region. It will have a major positive economic and social impact at a time when the economy will be trying to recover.

“I grew up in the glen where the gold was originally discovered, and nearly every house in the immediate area has had someone work on the project or for a Dalradian contractor at some time. In the past decade we’ve already employed around 200 people and used 190 local suppliers.

“A project of this scale would be an exceptional boost to the economy at any time, but in the current economic climate, when local unemployment has increased and is expected to grow further, this represents a phenomenal opportunity.

“From a strategic perspective the project also supports local government policy. It will contribute to the realisation of Fermanagh & Omagh District Council’s 2030 Community Plan, including outcomes such as creating an economy that is ‘thriving, expanding and outward looking’.”

ENDS

For further information please contact media@dalradian.com

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