An Australian mining company is to challenge an Executive decision to withdraw its licence to conduct investigations into the potential to extract shale gas from parts of Co Fermanagh.
There were protests at the site over the proposals. (© Presseye)
Tamboran Resources wanted to conduct exploratory drilling at a former quarry site in Belcoo.
There were concerns the company would use the controversial ‘fracking’ technique should large reserves of the gas be found and it be given permission to operate a mining operation.
Tamboran’s licence to carry out the work expired on Tuesday and the company had asked for it to be renewed, however, this was declined by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment (DETI).
The company said it was disappointed by the decision which it intends to challenge in court.
A spokesman said: “After investing in excess of £3m, we are disappointed that DETI failed to consider the option of a temporary extension.
“This decision as it stands could close the door on a project that could deliver up to 50 years of secure energy supply, in excess of 2,000 jobs and billions of much needed investment in the local economy.
“We have consulted with counsel and we are also moving to a judicial review of DETI’s decision. It would not be appropriate for us to comment further at this stage.”
The company is already conducting court proceedings over a decision by Environment Minister Mark H Durkan who ruled it had to apply for full planning permission to carry out its test drilling.