Canadian mining firm accused of damaging environment in Turkey

Some 10,000 trees have been cut in Turkey’s Black Sea coastal province of Zonguldak for Canadian company Centerra Gold’s gold mining project, Diken news site reported on Wednesday, citing Turkish environmental advocacy group Northern Forests Defence.

Centerra Gold is the second company accused by environmental groups of damaging Turkey’s environment, following Alamos Gold, whose mine site in northwest Turkey triggered large demonstrations early this month. Nearly 200,000 trees have been felled for that project, quadrupling the initial estimation in the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (ÇED). Doğu Biga, a Turkish company, is overseeing the project on behalf of Alamos Gold.

Environmental groups say Centerra Gold extended its surveying work beyond the area for which it was granted a licence by Turkish authorities to carry out gold drilling via Turkish subcontractors. 

According to a local environmental group, the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation ruled in 2017 that no ÇED report was necessary for the project in Zonguldak’s Alaplı district. Some 10,000 trees have been felled for Centerra Gold’s surveying work, the group said.  

According to Northern Forests Defence, sizeable amounts of donations have been made to surrounding villages to prevent locals’ reactions to goldmine work.