masquerade of democracy

The procedure for examining the application for this permit, which follows the recent approval of another permit of the same type ( PERM of Tennie, in Sarthe and Mayenne ) [3], is a clear example of authoritarianism. By submitting the grant proposal to the ” public consultation ” in the middle of the summer and without making the least publicity of it, the Ministry of Productive Recovery shows its deep contempt for democracy.

As indicated in the presentation note to the draft granting order [4], all of the administrations consulted on the Villeranges PERM have already given their explicit green light. The public is invited only to send their observations, last, and only if they learn of the existence of this possibility by their own means. The ” consultation ” therefore comes down to the opening of an email address by the Ministry ! Its result is moreover in no way binding: it is not a question of obtaining the approval of the population, but at most of knowing its opinion.

What a denial of democracy, Mr. Montebourg ! We are very far from the VI th Republic you to promise in 2012: “The citizen […] will be reinstated in the loop of the decision and found the opportunity to express themselves and participate in public policy.”

Is it an oversight or a flip-flop ? The methods you use today are the same as those used by JL. Borloo when, in 2009, he quietly signed shale gas and oil exploration permits.

Risks ignored

By declaring that ” the mine is a potential axis of recovery, an element of competitiveness and sovereignty ” [5], Arnaud Montebourg seems to ignore that the file of industrial mining is excessively heavy in terms of social, economic impacts, cultural, political and environmental.

The modern mining industry is geared towards the exploitation of low concentration deposits and involves the use of large volumes of potentially toxic products (cyanide, sulfuric acid, etc.), as well as the massive generation of waste. Whatever the technique used (by galleries or in the open), the step of separating the metals from the rock always requires heavy chemical treatments.

To the pollution involved in the storage of waste from these treatments, we must add the accumulation of waste rock – rocks containing metals that cannot be exploited in a profitable manner – with the pollution problems caused by acid mine drainage (acidification of rainwater and therefore hydrographic networks by runoff on waste rock) and the release, in contact with water and air, of heavy metals, arsenic [6] and / or radioactive substances naturally contained in the rock (the latter risk is seriously consider in the case of the Villeranges PERM , given the proven presence of uranium in the basement of the Creuse [7]).

This type of pollution can last up to several centuries, even several thousand years. Scientific publications attest to this. To these water pollution, we must add those of air and soil, noise and visual pollution, disturbance of local ecosystems, loss of biodiversity and affect the health of residents.