Four years of environmental studies have been undertaken prior to the development of Duntanlich Mine creating an ecological benchmark from which to work. M-I SWACO is dedicated to protecting the environment as part of its company ethos.
Since these previous proposals significant amendments have been made, including reducing the originally proposed 200,000 tonnes of barite produced per annum to 120,000 tonnes, as well as addressing concerns over, for example, the visual impact of the proposed development and impact.
- Duntanlich Mine is an underground operation with a surface footprint of under 1 hectare, less than a quarter of the current mine at Foss.
- The mine and access route was designed to ensure no or minimal visibility from the surrounding area and the site is hidden by landform from Queen’s View.
- The mine site and access route avoid deeper peat areas.
- The transfer site is within afforested land in Logierait Wood.
- Great efforts will be taken to minimise flora and fauna being adversely affected and sensitive habitats, such as heath and wetland and species, will be avoided. Measures where necessary to protect designated areas will be implemented.
- Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) carrying barite will bypass villages and minor roads by accessing onto the A9 at the Ballinluig junction.
- The access route was designed to avoid sensitive archaeological areas to the north-east of Logierait.
- There will be no adverse impacts on the water environment, including the River Tay Special Area of Conservation, as a consequence of mining operations. Discharges and site run-off will be treated and have to comply with Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) requirements, which they routinely monitor.
- It is anticipated that mining shifts will generally follow a standard 12 hour shift from 0700 to 1900 Monday to Friday.
- Noise levels from the operation will comply with government guidelines.
- There will be mitigation of emissions – noise, particulates and light. Crushing activity for example is fully contained within a building.
Closure and restoration
- The construction of a detailed closure plan for Foss Mine is underway.
- Foss Mine will overlap Duntanlich Mine by six months from date of commissioning.
- Following on from the decommissioning of Foss Mine, it will take six months of rehabilitation & restoration works to prepare for closure.
- Monitoring will continue for a minimum of five years post closure.