"Le Domaine du Moulin Neuf 1605" 
Gîtes - Camper Space - Wild Camp 

Stop the reopening of the "Nouveau Bourneix" mine for gold demand!

A licence has been granted to a Canadian company, based in London, to search for mineral resources (gold) in the Bourneix mine which was closed 21 years ago.

The Bourneix mine is only a few kilometres away from the holiday domain "Le Domaine du Moulin Neuf 1605" on the border with Bourdoux.

To prevent the landscape from turning into a desert, deafening and continuous noise from ,machines and trucks and pollution of ground and surface water, residents of surrounding villages and municipalities are signing a petition against reopening the mine.

Join us in taking action and sign this petition before it is too late!

Where exactly is the Bourneix mine located?

The entrance to the Bourneix gold mine is in Haute-Vienne, department 87 near the town of Champsiaux-Leyssart. The gold mine is located underground between the towns of Le-Chalard, Ladignac-le-Long and Jumilhac-le-Grand.

The map opposite shows the 4 areas affected by current mining licences around Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche, which includes the Bourneix mine.

The aerial view from Google Earth shows the above-ground area of the mine which is the entrance to the underground mine near the town of Champsiaux-Leyssart, as the crow flies about 12km away from our holiday domain.

Stop pollution from mining!

It is important for us to protect our countryside from the risk of pollution from mining. Nature, environment, water and rivers are being exploited and plundered for the benefit of unbridled technological development.

The collateral consequences in terms of ecological damage (dust-related air pollution, road construction, transport, noise pollution, loss of property value and tourism, and so on!

Gold mining is a source of significant environmental and health impacts and issues, which vary depending on the ecological context, extraction methods and type of "ore". Impacts and challenges include landscape, health, ecological and hydrogeological issues.

There is currently no way to produce large quantities of gold without environmental impacts. The most commonly cited risks are:

  • Uncontrolled release of acid mine effluent (AME).
  • Discharges of heavy metals and cyanides", two types of substances that are potentially hazardous to metals and metalloids in the long or very long term.
  • Suspended solids (SS) discharged into watercourses are also a source of turbidity and potential clogging of spawning grounds, contributing to the degradation of aquatic ecosystems.

Moreover, the mining of increasingly impoverished ores increases the amount of waste per tonne of gold produced, creating new and ongoing environmental assessment problems. For mining geologist Louis R. Bernier, a new approach to risk and waste management must take this parameter into account."

A little reading on gold mining. 

Digging 1 tonne of rock to find 1 gram of gold... why do, why not?

Why yes? Because the price of gold has just about tripled since 2006 (€14,000/kg in 2006, €43,000/kg in 2012 and now just about stable around €55,000/kg - it's all about the money). To be clear, the company that filed the application for "Le Nouveau Bourneix" has 2 directors in Canada, and 2 directors in South Africa.... OK, they officially have a registered office in Orleans, with 1 person employed (70 years old...), but then to say it's a French company....

Why not?

Several reasons... If we know that to obtain 1 gram of gold, 1 tonne of rock is excavated, ground until it is dust, processed with chemicals to extract the gold from that dust, rinsed, and heated 2 times to more than 1,000 degrees Celsius, shouldn't we ask ourselves if that is not a bit much energy for so little result?

In our region we are spoiled, here they find 3 to 4 grams per tonne of rock.... (from memory, I haven't checked my source), but still....

Questions to ask then, where do those tonnes of dust go after that? The cyanure and/or mercurium used, isn't that dangerous? Flushed? But we are already short of water! And what happens to the site, biodiversity, fauna and flora,... during and after operation? Noise, dust pollution, truck traffic????

President Macron has indeed called for mining our own resources, to be independent from other countries.... again, the company Aurelius Ressources is NOT a French company. But we can understand the call for independence.

Let's take a look at what gold is used for today:

  • 60% goes into jewellery and ornaments (20% of these go to India, where gold is often given as a dowry)
  • 15% is tied up in pension funds and investments
  • 15% is in the basement of the national bank (gold bars)
  • 10% (maximum, it is more like 5-7%) goes to industrial use.

Gold can be recycled. Currently, we recycle 3 times the amount needed for industrial use (the amount needed will increase due to the rising demand for electric cars, but that is another discussion).

Again, given the amount of energy needed to mine gold, wouldn't we be better off changing our habits? The ecology aspect has already been raised (chemicals, water pollution, disturbing the subsoil, biodiversity, energy consumption,...), 1 more comment. A gold mine is only profitable if no follow-up happens after the exploitation period officially, the site has to be cleaned up afterwards (depoluted), but in practice this does not happen, far too expensive! So who is left with the contamination? A great example (not!) is Salsigne in the Aude department.

Very few people still work in a gold mine, a lot of tasks have been automated, besides, working in a gold mine is dangerous. So to say that jobs will be created is an exaggeration. Okay then, a few jobs will be created. But what about the jobs that will be lost (tourism, agriculture and horticulture,...), and this for a much longer period than the 15 years that the mine is exploited.

The association CystExt has compiled a whole dossier on this. Most of the information I give you here comes from that. Personally, I also have a problem with a lot of things being decided over our heads. This file, for example, is online for 4 weeks. But there is no obligation to inform about it. So if you don't know about it, you don't know what to look for, and that you should look for.

Procedure of reopening the gold mine

Reopening the gold mine happens in 2 phases: we are now (July 2023) in the first phase, the company Aurelius Ressources has submitted an application to explore, to see if it is profitable to start digging again. If given permission to do so, they will have five years. It is now, at this time, that we need to act, because after that, when they submit an application for exploitation (reopening the mine), it is pretty much automatically accepted. And then we are off for 15 years of misery (noise, trucks, dust, damage to biodiversity, water pollution,...).

Unfortunately, at no point is the opinion of the population sought. The subsoil does not belong to you, it belongs to the government. All we are asked is if there are any questions.... The file is online, so it is the time to ask questions and sign the petition!

Sign the petition with us!