The use of cyanide in Cyprus raised before the Commission
22nd November 2019
AKEL MEP’s G. Georgiou and N. Kizilyurek today raised before the EU the demand put forth jointly by Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots for the prohibition of the use of cyanide in the mining industry in Cyprus, as well as the demand for the immediate restoration of already contaminated areas, with a view to protecting the environment and ensuring public health.
As the AKEL MEP’s poignantly point out, the European Parliament in 2017 adopted a resolution calling on EU member states to ban the use of cyanide in mining and the processing of mining waste. However, Cyprus, which has still not complied with the relevant resolution, is tending to become the world’s rubbish dump as it is collecting tens of thousands of tons of waste from various countries for processing by using numerous chemical substances. Indeed, the necessary environmental studies haven’t been conducted beforehand, and the company, which uses cyanide for producing gold from mining waste, has obtained an unlawful license, given that regulations on the use of cyanide use have still not been approved.
The MEP’s of AKEL tellingly address the European Commission requesting to be informed whether the Commission is aware of the harmful effects caused by the license granted to a company to use cyanide at the Skouriotissa mine in Cyprus. Furthermore, in doing so by enhancing the bi-communal struggle being waged in Cyprus for the prohibition of the use of cyanide, the AKEL MEP’s are asking what action does the Commission intend to take so that the proper and lawful procedures are followed in Cyprus’ mining industry and that the areas that have already been contaminated, such as those of Skouriotissa, Lefka, Xeros, Mitsero etc, are restored.
In closing, the AKEL MEP’s, underlining the EU’s inadequate legislation, call on the European Commission to propose a Directive with regards the best practices to be applied in the extraction and management of mining waste.
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