ANKARA (Reuters) – Canada-based Alamos Gold has defended its environmental record at a mining project in western Turkey against a wave of protests, saying it had paid for future reforestation at the site and denying cyanide would leak into the surrounding area.
Thousands of Turks and opposition lawmakers protested on Monday in the Canakkale province against expected pollution from the mine, saying Alamos had cut down more trees than it had declared and would use cyanide, contaminating water in the region.
In an interview in Ankara, Alamos CEO John McCluskey said protests against the project near the town of Kirazli were based on politically-motivated misinformation.
The area at the site now largely stripped of trees would begin to return to its previous state after the six years envisaged for the project, he said.
“We’ve already paid for it … As part of the forestry permit, we have paid about $5 million (and) a big component of that fee is to pay for reforestation,” McCluskey said, adding that only government authorities were allowed to cut trees, not the company.
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