AMID protests from local residents, Aradippou’s municipal council on Thursday postponed a vote on granting a permit for the construction of a precious metals refinery plant.
The majority of the councillors were opposed to granting the permit, the Cyprus News Agency reported.
The council will be convening anew on Friday to further discuss the matter with its legal advisers.
While the council was in session, residents from surrounding communities demonstrated against the plant.
The residents fear emissions from the plant’s future operations pose a serious health hazard.
The selected site for the plant is designated for light industry only. But residents claim the planned facility consists of heavy industry, and accuse government officials of abusing loopholes in the law in order to categorize the plant as light industry.
The gold refining/finishing plant will reportedly have a capacity of around 100 tons of gold per year. The company will import doré bars, semi-pure alloy of gold and silver and other metals, usually created at the site of a mine, and produce 24 carat gold (99.99 per cent purity).
The plant will be among 56 other such plants in the world, with the biggest ones in Dubai, London, Rome, Switzerland and Africa.