Canadian mining firm Dundee Precious Metals said on April 16 that Bulgaria's Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) has revoked the company's permit to build a metals processing plant at Chelopech. The decision confirms an earlier ruling made by a three-judge panel in November 2009 and is final, Dundee said.
The decision revoked the environmental impact assessment (EIA) resolution issued by the Ministry of Environment and Waters and was based on three reasons: the two and one-half year delay between the public hearings of the EIA and the date the EIA resolution was issued; the impacted communities were incorrectly defined by the Environment Ministry; and technology proposed was deemed not to be based on best available techniques on an industrial scale operation.
"While we are disappointed with the decision, it in no way impacts the mine/mill expansion to two million tonnes a year that is currently underway at Chelopech. Our plan is clear and the recent acquisition of the Tsumeb smelter in Namibia secures the processing of our fully expanded Chelopech production," Dundee chief executive Jonathan Goodman said in a statement.