The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has been footing the £300,000 bill to provide security in Northern Ireland for a mining company from Canada. The company is exploring for gold in the region.
The PSNI has been diverting the local police force to escort the commercial-grade explosives as well as secure the explosives that the gold mining company intends to use at the Co Tyrone mine.
Chief Constable George Hamilton has acknowledged that the services offered by the PSNI go beyond the normal policing needs that mining contractors require. However, he was emphatic that the cost of the escort and security would be recovered from the mining company.
Dalradian Resources is seeking gold at the Curraghinalt site, which is located outside Omagh. In 2015, company owner Patrick Anderson stated that the area had the potential to become one of the world’s best gold mines.
According to Anderson, there is a minimum of 3 million ounces of gold in the area, and if the entire cache could be mined, it would be worth nearly $3.5 billion.
The PSNI has been providing assistance to Dalradian Resources in securing the explosives that will be used in the mines. It is being done at a cost of £300,000 of taxpayers’ money. This has raised concerns from members of the public, who are wondering why police resources are being used to keep the explosives safe, according to Police Board member Ross Hussey.
Hussey stated that it was evident that several police officers are being used to guard the explosives, and the mining company does not contribute anything towards the cost. In fact, the costs incurred were being taken out of the local policing budget.
Hussey also said that there is no forecast about how much it would cost to police the mine over its expected lifespan of 20 years.
Hussey has asked the PSNI to provide details of the reductions, if any, in the Omagh policing budget as a result of the security being provided to Dalradian Resources. He claims that the mining company will be declaring substantial profits.