The client had an investment proposal to develop a gold-bearing ore mine near the town of Krumovgrad, Bulgaria.
BMM had an investment proposal to develop a gold mine with cyanide leaching near the town of Krumovgrad, Bulgaria since 2005. Three years later, it was facing strong public resistance at national and local level, there was no response by the Ministry of Environment and Water on the EIA procedure and the project fell within the newly established Natura 2000 network.
We studied the project and it turned out to be much better than its image. We advised BMM to take the risk and demonstrate transparency and willingness to cooperate with nature conservation NGOs. We gathered a team of reputable experts and gave them the opportunity to make the NATURA 2000 assessment.
After finalizing the report, we implemented extensive stakeholder dialogue in order to facilitate the process of public hearing and give the opportunity to local population and NGOs to express a well-informed opinion.
Our team convinced the client to change the extraction technology and other components in order to reduce the environmental impact, potential risks and public resistance. BMM did so and after successful semi-industrial tests came up with a new investment proposal. Perhaps for first time in Bulgaria, a NATURA 2000 assessment significantly changed the technology and parameters of an project. The new project had a direct footprint of 85 ha (vs. 200 ha), applied flotation instead of cyanide leaching, designed an integrated mine waste management facility instead of a classical tailings pond and allowed zero waste water discharge.
During the public hearings, consensus between the client and the stakeholders for wide range of measures was achieved. Many of the latent supporters of the project raised their voices in favor of its implementation. Finally, the Ministry of Environment and Water passed a positive decision on the EIA and BMM could proceed with next steps.
denkstatt has been working as a Strategic Sustainability Consultant of BMM since 2009. Our cooperation led to the implementation of more than 10 specific projects with concrete benefits for the client as well as local stakeholders and environment.