The owners of a gold mine in Northern Ireland have halted its development after police refused to provide their requested levels of anti-terrorism security cover.
Galantas Gold Corporation said the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) was not prepared to offer sufficient resources to supervise the transportation and denotation of blasting materials at its mine in Omagh, Co Tyrone. Galantas sourced gold from an open cast mine in the area up until 2013 . It has secured planning permission to excavate underground seams for the next 15 years with projections of extracting 30 million worth of gold a year.
The mining security requirement is in place in Northern Ireland to guard against the potential threat posed by dissident republican terror groups. The company said the PSNI had offered two hours of cover, two days a week – in exchange for a fee. Galantas said that was insufficient to run the mine and offered to pay the police for two hours of cover, five days a week – albeit reserving the right to challenge the policy of recovering costs in the courts.
It said the PSNI rejected that offer, citing resource constraints and competing priorities. The company is now pursuing a potential legal action against the PSNI, claiming other mining companies have not been subject to the same limitations on police resources. Galantas currently employs 15 people at the Omagh site, five of whom have now been placed on notice of redundancy .
It had envisaged employing around 130 once the planned underground mining operation was running.
Roland Phelps, president and CEO of Galantas, said: “The PSNI’s decision is clearly a blow to any proposed mine development in Northern Ireland and negatively affects the livelihoods of our employees and their families.
“The company pays full UK taxes, royalties and mineral license fees.
“A cost benefit analysis of PSNI providing the required anti-terrorism cover required by PSNI is hugely to the state’s benefit – not that this is any reason to allow a potential terrorist threat to interfere with any citizen’s lawful rights or business.”
PSNI Chief Superintendent Kevin Dunwoody said: “There are many competing demands for the resources that PSNI commanders have at their disposal.
“They must prioritise those demands in a way that maximises the safety of the public and their officers and works to counter threats, to mitigate risk and to alleviate harm.
“Working with others to support their efforts for the development of enterprise and the economy is important to PSNI.
“It is, however, reasonable to expect a commercial venture to contribute all or part of the policing costs where it is legitimate and proportionate to do so.”
Police have launched a fresh appeal for witnesses after masked robbers attacked a security guard collecting cash from a supermarket. Two men armed with a wheel brace approached the G4S guard after he pulled up in his van to pick up money from Aldi, in Whittle Road, Meir Park. They threatened and attacked their victim, leaving him with a leg injury, then fled with cash in a black Alfa Romeo at around 4.45pm on Monday, April 3.
Now officers want to hear from witnesses who saw the suspects, dressed in light clothing with dark face coverings and baseball caps, getting into another vehicle near to the Meir Park Community Hall, off Lysander Road, a short time later. The first getaway car has already been recovered. A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “The investigation is ongoing and detectives continue to appeal for anyone who witnessed the Alfa Romeo Mito driving from Aldi towards Lysander Road before getting into another vehicle.”
Anyone with information is urged to call 101 quoting incident 565 of April 3.
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There will be increased security measures including search points at Gloucester’s Kingsholm stadium this weekend. The increased security measures will mean a full road closure from 2pm on Saturday in Kingsholm Road, prior to the Sale Sharks match. Those with parking permits to park at the ground are asked to ensure that they arrive in good time prior to the closure being put in place.
Those using the Park and Ride service are advised that this service will drop supporters in Worcester Street by the bridge to allow the bus to return up Black Dog Way and return to the Park and Ride point . It will also collect from this point after the game. Supporters are also advised that there is also a Search Regime at all access points to the ground, so the club wishes to ask all supporters to ensure that they arrive in sufficient time to allow security staff time to carry out these measures. Gloucester Rugby would like to thank all concerned for their co-operation at this time. The Gloucester-Sale Sharks game kicks off at 3pm.
- ^ Gloucester stars to give ‘exclusive insight’ at club evening (www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk)
- ^ POLL: Choose your Gloucester XV to face Sale (www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk)