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Introduction of cyanide leaching at the Chelopech gold and copper mine

3 pages, pdf
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 Introduction of cyanide leaching at the Chelopech gold and copper mine

Publisher: CEE Bankwatch Network

Volume: 3 pages, pdf


The Chelopech Mining project is separated in two parts: Phase 1 focusing on environmental improvements; and Phase 2 proposing the expansion of metals production through the introduction of cyanide leaching technology. EBRD approved a USD 10 million loan for Phase 1 in 2004. Phase 2 has been under review since 2005, and there has been no progress due to the blocking of the project by the Bulgarian Ministry for the Environment and Waters at the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) stage in March 2006. The project has received a 'B' categorisation, although the activities proposed under Phase 2 carry risks for human health and the environment, thus calling for category 'A'. The EIA process for Phase 2 of the project was blocked after the protest of environmentalists against the introduction of cyanide leaching, as well as the counter protests of miners. The “silent denial” of the Minister for the Environment and Waters did not give a justification based on environmental or legal causes for the blocking of the project.