Environmentalists and indigenous chiefs have vehemently opposed the “mega-mine”, warning of serious risks of pollution in the basin of the Mana river which flows through indigenous land, and damage to the area’s biodiversity.
Opponents have particularly expressed concerns over the 57,000 tonnes of explosives, 46,500 tonnes of cyanides and 142m litres of fuel WWF estimated the company will use over the mine’s 12-year lifespan. Montagne d’Or has contested the figures.
Christophe Pierre, a 24-year-old indigenous activist from the village of Terre Rouge about 100km away from the proposed mine is unyielding.
“The project is intolerable and not negotiable,” he said. “It impedes on our living space. There is hunting land nearby and pre-Colombian sites were found next to the proposed mine.
“We never gave up our sovereignty on this land. The French state does not recognise our presence prior to its arrival but this has been our land for thousands for years.” Read More