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Czech Gold Mining Industry May Boom Again

The Czech gold mining industry is said to date back 2,000 years, and it peaked in the 14th century.

However, it was halted just over two decades ago due to the environmental impact it was having in the country.

The last mine closed in the country in 1994.

Czech Republic has some of the most concentrated gold deposits in Europe, said to total nearly 400 tons and this is leading a push to re-open the industry.  It is said also that 1,000 jobs could be created in mostly areas of relatively high unemployment.

The gold price is far off its peak from a number of years ago, but is still at long term highs. The vast sums of deposits have attracted companies from all over the world ever since the government opened up the idea of mining the precious metal again.

Last year Prague Post reported that four companies had applied to the Environment Ministry to mine for gold in Central and South Bohemia.

Environmental Issues

 

Czech Industry and Trade Minister, Jan Mladek has insisted publicly that any extraction of the gold must pay economically and environmentally.

At one of the mines, known as Golden Mountains, mining ceased in 1993. At that point gold was $270 dollars an ounce. Now is it around $1,300, and it is this reason the Minister wishes to push the case for extraction.

There have been a number of attempts to restart the industry since 1994, but efforts have been hampered by environmental opposition.

Resource Investor reported last year that regions including the Plzenshy, Central Bohemia and West Bohemia had resisted gold mining. 13,000 people signed a petition to ban the use of cyanide in gold extraction, which the Senate then had to discuss.

Mladek was today trying to ease these concerns. He was quoted on Novinky as saying, “the negative attitude towards gold mining is due to some projects where they wanted to use cyanide to extract gold. This would now be eliminated”.

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