SDLP Mid Ulster Assembly candidate Patsy McGlone has called for a ban on gold mining in the North.
Mr McGlone said the SDLP’s long-standing policy was for a ban on precious metals and minerals mining. The party also opposes fracking.
He said outlawing the practices must be a priority in the next Assembly mandate.
Mid Ulster candidate Mr McGlone said: “For the last number of years I have heard significant concerns from people about the possibility of gold mining and other harmful anti-environmental practices destroying communities in Mid Ulster and right across the North. The SDLP are clear on this issue – we want to see a ban on these practices and leave no room for doubt or speculation.
“We have heard time and time again the negative impact precious mineral mining and fracking has on communities with the only beneficiaries being big multinational businesses.
"We are blessed to live in one of the most beautiful parts of these islands and we must resist anything that threatens that.
"We cannot risk polluting our natural resources and encouraging these practices is the last thing we should be doing in the face of the worsening climate crisis.
“When it comes to opposing these practices the SDLP has consistently led the way. While serving as Environment Minister my colleague Mark H Durkan introduced a moratorium on fracking and SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon recently requested a public inquiry for the Dalradian gold mine project in Co Tyrone.
“We can put an end to this if the political will is there. Our politicians and parties need to come together and ban gold mining and fracking in the North.
"We can put people and our rural communities first by listening to what they want and delivering on the issues they care about."
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