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Digging for diamonds in Tyrone!

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

A MAJOR search for diamonds in the Fivemiletown area could soon be underway, if would-be prospectors get the go-ahead to explore the area.

The prospecting firm believes there could be significant deposits of the most precious stone in Clogher Valley area, extending as far as Brookeborough in County Fermanagh.

Dublin-based firm Karelian Diamond Resources already has found diamonds in Finland and now wishes to extend its diamond exploration programme to the Clogher Valley Karelian believes the area may well contain "diamondiferous" material.

In addition to the Fivemiletown and Brookeborough areas, the potential area for exploration includes Mullaghfad Forest and Slieve Beagh, a mountain which straddles the border between Counties Tyrone and Monaghan.

And the company has applied for a licence, although it has been objected to by Mid-Ulster Council, which was asked for its views by the Department for Economy, which has the final say on whether a licence should be granted.

Despite there being no planning grounds on which to object, the Council has adopted its stance in the belief that granting the licence "would cause division in the community and conflict against neighbours".

The matter was addressed at the Council's latest monthly meeting, during which Sinn Fein's Gavin Bell spoke out against the plans, echoing the comments around community relations and calling the plans a "commercial exploitation", saying the situation with gold mining in the Sperrins near Greencastle was "totally unacceptable and no other developer should get away with it".

He also claimed that the "British Crown" would claim some right to whatever may be found was "a disgrace", contending that "resources of this island should be for the benefit of the people of this island".

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