Canadian gold mining company subject to lawsuit in Turkey

Locals in Avanos in Turkey’s central Nevşehir province are suing Canadian mining company Centerra Gold’s for what they believe are unlawful drilling activities in the area’s forest lands-, Bianet reported on Friday.

Centerra Gold has launched exploration drills in forest lands, cutting down trees in the region, Ankara Chamber of Architects (TMMOB Ankara) said in a statement, adding that the mining site was only 20 km away from the Cappadocia World Heritage Site.

Mining would severely damage the environment, as drilling activities include cutting down thousands of trees, TMMOB Ankara Chairman Tezcan Karakuş Candan said in the statement. “The region was afforested in 2015 by locals and has cultural and touristic importance,” Candan said.

Avanos mayor Celal Alper İbaş told reporters that drilling might contaminate the region’s drinking and irrigation water.

After Turkey’s government issued a licence to another Canada-based company, Alamos Gold, to mine for gold in the northwestern province of Çanakkale last year, many trees were felled to clear the ground in Mount Ida (Kaz Mountains), which stirred many protests alongside the fact that cyanide method used by the companies in can be deadly for people, animals and plants and contaminate underground water reservoirs for decades.