Cavanacaw gold mine.

Planning permission was obtained in 1995 at the site at Cavancaw for the extraction of gold and related minerals from an open cast pit. Work commenced in the late 1990’s on the “Kearney trench”, which, by 2012 had been mined to its maximum permitted depth. The seam of ore extends well below the bottom of this trench and OML now plan to extract ore from underground.

The project will involve the construction of an “adit” through the backfilled material of the existing trench and extending down 200m through a series of shafts into the ore. The process uses the existing milling facilities on site and will not result in any intensification of current operations.

The proposal includes plans for the removal of rock from site in a sustainable fashion linked with the progressive restoration of the site.

Issues Encountered

  • History of objection from local people
  • Restoration of the site
  • Heavy vehicles using minor roads
  • Health and Safety
  • Pollution
  • Noise

Our Involvement

We were initially retained by OML in 2011 to assist with an application to alter the Closure Plan which had been with Planning Service for some time waiting approval. As a result of local objection to the mine in general, Omagh District Council were opposed to approving Closure Plan application due to traffic issues. This resulted in a further application for passing bays on main access roads being submitted and both Closure Plan and Passing Bays were approved in early 2012. These decisions were subsequently successfully judicially reviewed however in May 2012.

In the meantime, we prepared the planning application and EIA for the underground mine proposal, which was submitted in July 2012. This proposal includes a restoration plan and sets out the proposed daily heavy vehicle movements related to the removal of waste rock from the site.

Along-side the planning work, we have been engaged in political lobbying, which has resulted in Omagh District Council moving from a position of opposition to submitting a letter of support for the underground planning application.


  • Location:Omagh, Co Tyrone
  • Client:Omagh Minerals Ltd.
  • Status:Approved
  • Type:Planning, Environmental Impact Assessment and Political Lobbying
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1 Pavilions Office Park, Kinnegar Drive, Holywood, BT18 9JQ
Denshaw House, 121 Baggot Street Lower, Dublin 2, Ireland