Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Cononish Gold Mine

Plans to mine for gold at Cononish have been approved by Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. Would this be approved in the Lake District today? You can read the article  here

Anyone thinking of climbing Ben Lui had better get it done soon unless they like to view spoil heaps en route.




10 comments:

  1. I think if gold was found in them there Lake District hills there would be many a local friendly organisation or two wanting shares in the said approved. just to make improvements within the Park of course.
    Hypocrisy always has a price wherever it might lurk and the gold price would be difficult to sniff at or raise that righteous nose in the case of LDP. Money,Money,Money talks as we know. And don’t forget all those local jobs at a time of great need.

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  2. If this does go ahead, I really hope the benefits outweigh the costs; in all sorts of ways. My understanding of gold mining is that it's a very ugly process environmentally, and one with long-term health implications for those employed in the actual excavation.

    If it's a case of a few making a killing, a great swathe of landscape being defaced, polluted watercourses and people suffering with silicosis somewhere down the line, that doesn't sound like much of a deal to me.

    Of course, it may be nothing like as bleak as I'm suggesting...

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  3. Alan - you are probably correct. I wonder what will happen if the gold price falls, say, in five years?

    Byeways - I hope you're taking an exceptionally bleak view of the health issue! I don't know very much about that I'm afraid. As for the rest, I'd have to agree. 'Anything goes in Scotland' it seems - and in a NP. I hope there are no access restrictions.

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  4. Hi Gibson,

    There has been a fairly high incidence of silicosis among former goldmine workers, although that may be more associated with deep mining operations. Arsenic was also used somewhere in the process but hopefully will have been outlawed in favour of something more benign.

    This may be one of those occasions where the strictures of the HSE are something to be grateful for.

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  5. You really should have a quick look at the proposals and some of your fears/scaremongering would be addressed!

    No mercury, cyanide (arsenic?)to be used, there has been a spoil heap at the site for decades from exploratory works, this is not open cast, there will be no restriction to access (other than the immediate area around the mine), SEPA enforce pollution prevention, etc. etc...

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  6. Telebob - I hope you are correct and not just being naive and accepting what you read. I don't think anyone on here is 'scaremongering' btw.

    "There has been a spoil heap at the site for decades from exploratory work" Yes, there has been. So, why hasn't it been removed? Why hasn't SEPA prevented pollution of watercourses on some wind turbine sites?

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  7. Fair enough, perhaps not 'scaremongering' as such.

    I wasn't suggesting that the existing spoil was somehow a good thing, simply that "Anyone thinking of climbing Ben Lui had better get it done soon unless they like to view spoil heaps en route." was advice about 20 years too late; that is in terms of gold exploration. If you take lead mining into account at Eas Anie or Tyndrum it's more like several hundred years too late!

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  8. My point is that it will be a lot worse than it is now and your examples make my point for me as far as the future is concerned. Are you involved in the mining industry by any chance?!

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  9. Yes as it happens I am! But I've been involved in walking, climbing, biking, skiing etc for a lot longer!

    I just find it funny that historical mining seems to be acceptable and even of interest, the lead mines are a Scheduled Ancient Monument for example, whereas the modern use of the land and its resources is almost always viewed negatively. Having said that, there are plenty of hill users who will find a gold mine of interest. Just to be clear, I am not advocating that sites should be left in the state that the lead mine is; the gold mine for example will be carefully restored.

    I think Byeways was right in that the key is that the benefits outweigh the costs... we shall see.

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  10. I have to say that I rather like places such as Force Crag Mine in the Lake District, so I do agree about historical mines being of interest.

    And I'm not actually quite as 'anti-gold' mine as my posts suggest - just a bit cynical regarding the balance of benefits and costs.

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