Our project will create jobs, strengthen the local community and respect the environment


How Dalradian will minimise its environmental impact

People in the Sperrins have a deep connection with the land. They have long altered this landscape to support agriculture, provide fuel and drive industry.

We take our inspiration from that symbiotic relationship. You can see it at work in our 14 years of exploration and test mining. All of our operations have been conducted with an eye to minimising our environmental impact. 

Dalradian is doing things better. Our philosophy? Landscape restoration and ecological protection begins during operations and continues long after mining has finished.

Our environmental

  • Respecting the landscape

    Respecting the landscape

    Site rehabilitation will start during operations and continue after mining has finished.
  • Dry stack facility

    Dry stack facility

    Our modern approach to disposing mine tailings is a secure solution that fits into the landscape.
  • Water protection

    Water protection

    Our operational water will be sourced onsite, recycled and treated to agreed environmental quality standards before release.
  • Innovative processing

    Innovative processing

    We plan to use a mineral recovery process so safe that it has been approved for use in a UK national park.
  • Less than 15% increase in traffic

    Less than 15% increase in traffic

    The mine will bring new traffic to local roads, but far less than you might expect. Local roads now run at 10% capacity, and will rise to 11.5% during our operations.
  • Carbon neutral

    Carbon neutral

    We are committed to ensuring zero net carbon emissions, thanks to electric vehicles, advanced machinery and a carbon offset scheme. We achieved carbon neutrality to PAS 2060 standards for 2022.

Mining for minimum impact in the Sperrins

Northern Ireland has strict environmental laws when it comes to mining. Our operations will meet or exceed their requirements. We aim to leave the area as little changed as possible.

Two documents outline our plans - our Environmental Management Policy and our Closure and Rehabilitation Plan. Both envision a mine where rehabilitation begins during operations. 

All of our facilities have been designed to blend into the landscape and match local rural buildings. A tree-fringed berm will screen the view of these buildings. Our Dry Stack Facility will safeguard processed rock – pulverised to the size of sand – by creating a low ridge. We will plant it as it grows, so local plants and wildlife can colonise it faster.

Site rehabilitation time-lapse video
  • On-site, multi-stage water purification system

  • Design features that protect groundwater 

  • Sufficient capacity to withstand a 1-in-1000-year storm event

  • Recycled water used in the processing plants


Protecting Tyrone’s water supply

We treat water with great care. We have to, because the Owenkillew and Owenreagh Rivers run nearby. Both rivers provide habitat for wildlife all the way to Lough Neagh, and fishing grounds.

We will use water in our processing operations and groundwater will collect in our tunnel. Both kinds must be treated thoroughly before being released into the environment. We will use extensive water recycling to make the most of the water already on the site – both groundwater and rainwater.

Our multi-stage water purification system includes ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis technology. In real terms, that means any water discharge is the same quality as water in the surrounding environment.


The right tools for the job

We are adopting a process used elsewhere in the UK to produce a partially-refined material using purely mechanical means. This material will be sent for further refining at established processing sites elsewhere.

The first step in the process is to crush the rock. This crushing will take place underground, inside the mine. 

Refined minerals will not be produced on-site. Instead, we will produce a metallic concentrate and ship it overseas for final refinement. It’s a process that Scotland has approved for a similar mine to begin operations in a UK national park.

Read more >


Managing and Minimising

We’ve redesigned the plant at the future mine to minimise emissions.

It uses conveyor belts instead of trucks, and biodiesel and electric vehicles where possible. The tailings method is a dry stack, a more secure method than tailings dams and can be progressively rehabilitated during operations and ponds have been designed to withstand a 1 in 1000 year storm event and developed through 100% excavation into existing ground. A comprehensive carbon offset scheme catches the remaining emissions. We achieved carbon neutrality for a fourth year in 2022, and our plan will ensure that we do so in the years to come.

To render its carbon emissions ‘net zero’, Dalradian has chosen to support an internationally certified 200MW solar power project in Rajasthan, India. The project eliminates greenhouse gas emissions by displacing power from thermal/fossil fuel-based power plants connected to the Indian electricity grid with clean solar power.

In Northern Ireland, peat is an important store of carbon and assists in managing water flow during heavy rainfalls, as well as maintaining good water quality. Peat rehabilitation is a key action to lower emissions and fight climate change. Peat loss will be minimised in construction of the project and unavoidable peat loss will be offset by peat restoration in the local area.


Increasing biodiversity

The proposed mine is in an area characterised by agricultural land, elements of woodland and areas of peat.

As part of our planning application we have conducted extensive ecological impact assessments which provide detailed information about local animal populations and their habitats.

As a guiding principle, the area containing the project’s infrastructure has been made as small as possible to minimize habitat loss and infrastructure has been sited to avoid disturbance of habitats as much as possible.

Dalradian is proposing a number of measures to protect local animals and habitats. Measures proposed include

·         Creating new peatland habitat areas

·         Providing new roosting sites for bats

·         Providing new nesting sites for bats

·         Constructing a new replacement badger sett

·         Relocating common lizards, common frogs and smooth newts

·         Creating new breeding ponds

The combination of these activities will enhance rather than reduce the level of biodiversity across the wider area.

We welcome your questions.

Explore the FAQs or ask us anything

You might also be interested in...

    Your support matters

    Support our plans to create jobs, strengthen the local community and respect the environment. The Department for Infrastructure will take your views into account. Help make our plans a reality.

    Your letter of support will be sent directly to the Department for Infrastructure. Dalradian will not see your letter, nor any of your details.

    Great things can happen with your support

    Support our plans to create jobs, strengthen the local community and respect the environment. The Department for Infrastructure will take your views into account. Help make our plans a reality.

    Customise a letter of support in two simple steps:

    Provide your personal details

    This will signal your support to the Department for Infrastructure. You can choose to keep these details private.

    Tell the Department for Infrastructure why you support the project

    Please tick all the elements you like about the proposed project.

    Dalradian will not see your letter, nor any of your details. Your letter of support will be sent directly to the Department for Infrastructure