The 147-acre Gortmore tailings ponds at the Silvermines have been rehabilitated to a safe standard and there is no danger at the moment of any toxic dust blows, Newport electoral area councillors were told at their July meeting.
Engineer Karl Cashen warned, however, that any future rehabilitation at the wider Silvermines mining sites will have to be suspended because the level of funding is not immediately available. These sites are at Shallee, Ballygown, Ballynoe, Gurtnadyne, Knockanroe and Garryard.
The council was granted E10.1 by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources in 2005 to rehabilitate the six mines in the area, and E8.4m of that has been spent so far, with a total of E4.1m being spent at Gortmore.
Mr Cashen said that the initial grant was based on site investigations at the time, and subsequent detailed investigations had revealed that the money would not be sufficient.
He said that the Department was aware of this and was supportive.
“We are in a different time financially and the Department has said the same level of funding is not now available,“ he said.
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star