The application for the development of a controversial gold mine in County Tyrone must be the subject of an independent public inquiry.
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon confirmed the decision on Monday.
The Greencastle mining project was originally submitted by Dalradian in 2017.
The company revised the app in 2019, dropping plans to use cyanide as part of its mining process.
But those who opposed the mine said it would not affect their continued opposition to the project and said they would not stop until the entire plan was put aside.
The company argued that the mine would bring economic benefits and that it is one of the largest gold resources in Europe.
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More than 40,000 statements have been submitted to the Department of Infrastructure regarding the mine project.
Ms. Mallon said: “Before any decision is made, it is important to have a public inquiry and a report that has independently considered the views of stakeholders, including the local community and other government departments, and who will rigorously examine the information provided by all interested parties.
“Once I am satisfied that all the necessary details and the responses of those consulted have been provided, I will proceed to the public inquiry to allow a rigorous review of the request in a public forum.”
Opposition to the mine focused on the previous plan to use cyanide, a proposal to build a huge mound of spoil in the landscape of an area of exceptional natural beauty and due to the potential impact on air quality and nearby protected rivers. .