France’s environment minister, François de Rugy, is expected to announce in June the government’s official position on a proposed open-pit gold mine and precious metals industry in French Guiana, potentially the department’s largest, and it has locals divided.
The Montagne d’Or gold project, a joint venture between Russian billionaire Alexey Mordashov’s mining company, Nordgold, and Canadian junior Columbus Gold (TSX: CGT), was originally planned over an 800-hectare site between two protected natural reserves.
But after complaints from opponents to the mine, worried mainly about pollution and biodiversity loss, the French government formed a special committee to evaluate in detail the social and economic benefits, as well as the impacts of a gold mining industry in the French department, wedged between Brazil and Suriname.
In November, Paris decided the companies could move forward with permitting and development of the mine, but under certain conditions that would minimize the operation’s risks and impacts.
In September, the French National Commission of Public Debate had published a report on the public hearings carried-out for the Montagne d’Or gold project.
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