• July 1, 2017

‘Project suspended but League still wants answers’

Celtic League Manx branch environmental officer Allen Moore is ‘ploughing on’ with his quest for answers about Variscan mining plans in Brittany. An email to the Company elicited no response so it has been followed up with correspondence to both the Company and the French Embassy in London (see below).

What can be prompting such reticence from the Company recently the target of direct action by environmental activists? Perhaps they are busy ‘underground’.

We will of course update you when Variscan’s PR ‘shy’ department emerge from the mineshaft!

“There have been a lot of concerns in Brittany about the plans by the Australian mining company Variscan to explore for gold and other metals in the centre of Brittany. Variscan’s website does not answer concerns about the pollution which might occur during the mining and processing of the gold. In other regions of the world this has involved very toxic chemicals such as cyanide, arsenic and mercury.

The Variscan website offers a “Contact us” facility, which I have used, without the courtesy of a reply. I have also tried emailing the address given for their Orleans office, the HQ of Variscan’s operation in the French State, also without reply, so today I have written to that office and await their reply with interest. It surely helps to communicate with concerned organisations rather than maintain a cloak of secrecy?

The text of the letter follows:

Variscan Mines SAS,
10 rue Leonard de Vinci – CS 40053 – 45077 Orleans cedex 2, France

I have previously tried to contact you by emailing the contact details on your website, both by using the ordinary Contact facility and by using your Orleans email address. I did not receive a reply from either email. However, we are interested in finding answers to our queries as we believe that it is better to be informed of the facts rather than just speculate. The original emailed queries were as follows:

The Celtic League is an accredited NGO with roster consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The Celtic League campaigns on a wide range of issues concerning the six Celtic countries (Brittany, Cornwall, Wales, Ireland, Isle of Man and Scotland), including the environment.

As the Environmental Officer of the Celtic League Mannin (Isle of Man) Branch I was interested to read about your exploration work for gold and other metals in Brittany. In the event of finding gold in quantities which can be extracted, how would your company protect the environment around the mining and processing sites? I know that a number of toxic materials have been used in the processing of gold, such as arsenic, cyanide and mercury. Does your company use these chemicals? Have you developed fail safe methods to use them without them escaping into the environment? I have read that gold only occurs in very small concentrations even when it is mined. How would your company deal with the waste rock brought to the surface during the mining?

Thank you,

Allen Moore,
Environmental Officer,
Celtic League,
Mannin Branch

Copy to the French High Commission, 58 Knightsbridge, London”

Its important to highlight at this point the new Macron government seems to have ‘suspended’ the mining permits which is very much a initial victory for oppoenents however the objective should be a complete termination of these projects will bring little benefit and good cause real environmental damage for the majority. Link here to suspension announcement:


Related links:




Image: Anti-minng protest Breizh

Public Relations Officer Mannin Branch

Issued by: The Mannin branch of the Celtic League.



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