The area around Nant Llesg includes over a thousand acres of attractive, green open space, a reservoir at Rhas Las and public footpaths with stunning views over the Rhymney and Darren Valleys. The Rhymney River, which the Council has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on cleaning over the last year, runs nearby and the area is regular used by numerous groups, including bird watchers, ramblers and anglers. The ‘environmental benefits’ promised to local people by the developers proposing the open cast mine include “a fishing lake, cycle paths and nature conservation areas”.
The problem with these ‘benefits’ is that they would only be realised some 18 years after the project gets underway – in the meantime, our community will look on as the landscape is transformed into an industrial wasteland and enter into a lengthy battle to protect our environment against the impact of open cast mining.
Rhymney Council is fearful that its efforts to clean the Rhymney River will be wasted if the mine is to go ahead and pollution from the vehicles needed to work the mine will certainly reduce air quality. Fears even extend to the interruption of water services as well as threatening the habitat of several endangered species as the developers attempt to reduce some of the impact of the dust particles from the mine.