Voters in Sunday’s local referendum in the western Bulgarian town of Trun rejected with an overwhelming majority plans for gold mining in the area, election commission final data showed.
As many as 93% of people who went to the polls voted against the town council approving development plans for mining and processing of mineral resources on its territory, the referendum results posted on the commission’s website showed.
Voter turnout was 59.7%, making the referendum outcome binding.
Last year, a project for gold and silver mining in Trun area, including on the site of a closed uranium mine, prompted protests by local people who fear the project poses a threat to the environment and their health.
The investor, Euromax Services – an indirect subsidiary of Bulgarian copper mining company Asarel-Medet – plans to mine for gold in a 19 sq km area.
Euromax Services plans to invest over 100 million levs ($57.3 million/51.1 million euro) in the project, local newspaper Capital Daily said at the time.
In February, Bulgarian president Rumen Radev vetoed a bill introducing questionable changes to the concession law which drew fire from environmentalists.
The parliament passed the legislation with a slim majority just days before Radev dissolved it and called an early general election. The legislation provides for abolishing the maximum 35-year term of concession contracts and gives the right to open a concession procedure to individual government ministers as well as mayors.