The Canadian mining company Alamos Gold has suspended its activities of extracting gold from a mine in Turkey's Kaz Mountains after the company's license was not renewed. The mining project was the source of significant controversy and mass protests this summer due to the severer environmental damage and deforestation caused by the company.
“Alamos Gold Inc. today reported that it has suspended all construction activities on its Kirazlı project pending the renewal of its Turkish mining concessions which expired on October 13, 2019. Although the mining concessions have not been revoked and can be renewed following this expiration date, no further construction activities can be completed until the concessions have been renewed,” the company said in a press release on its website on Monday.
This was seen as a victory for the activists, environmentalists, and concerned citizens who came out in staunch opposition to the mine, both launching campaigns on social media and demonstrating in the area.
In August, thousands of protestors from throughout Turkey convened near a village in the area marched in opposition to the gold mine, which had stripped the area forestland of what experts and activists say was four times the number of trees that the company said it was going to cut down in preparation for the gold extraction. 195,000 trees were reportedly cut down within the scope of the project. Many protestors camped out in the area for weeks in defiance of the project.
Apart from the deforestation, activists were alarmed about the environmental consequences of the planned use of cyanide, a poisonous agent which is used in the gold mining process.
Despite experts that have established evidence to the contrary, Alamos Gold has insisted that it is not guilty of any wrongdoing, claiming it is the victim of a disinformation campaign:
“There has been false information about the project circulated through social media. The Company continues to share correct information about the project, and dispel misinformation which gave rise to protests and social media inaccuracies concerning the Kirazlı project,” the company said in its statement.