LETTER — Deny commercial prospecting

Published 6:00 am Friday, January 22, 2021

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To the Editor:

Here we go again with one more thing that will affect the African American neighborhoods.

First it was the pipelines, and now it’s gold.

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The Warminster community is outraged that a Canadian gold mining company, Aston Bay Holdings, has been drilling since 2016 without permits or the knowledge of the local residents.

The Warminster Baptist Church, located on Warminster Church Road, is a small neighborhood and has a small but active church family that has already experienced some problems with the church well going dry. In 2018, Warminster Baptist Church had to dig a new well. And just a few thousand feet from the church, neighboring families are experiencing low water and sometimes no water in their wells.

We wonder why?

Our planning commission was told by so called, “experts,” who were either in the industry or who would compromise their professional standing by saying otherwise, that our water table could not be impacted by the four years of drilling that took place.

We have heard from other mining experts no longer associated with the industry that it certainly could have been the cause. Who do we believe? Those who have an interest in protecting their own interests or those who are outside of it?

That’s just the beginning of our problems that landowners will experience in the Warminster community. The company will be bringing in heavy excavation and drilling equipment, destroying the roads. The open pit mine will destroy the land, water and air. Our property will be worthless. The county and residents for hundreds of years will suffer. Once the gold is gone, the company will leave.

Warminster, Union Hill, Yogaville, Manteo and Glenmore communities will suffer if this is allowed.

Aston Bay Mining Company really doesn’t care who it affects or the dangers of gold mining. They don’t live here, but we do and we will suffer the considerable impacts. The Buckingham County Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors need to protect us from this danger. We are asking for your support.

Specifically, we ask that you deny the addition of commercial prospecting in A1, M1 and M2 zones as a by-right use. Your vote for this opens the door to mining, polymetallic mineral and cyanide leaching mining in Buckingham County.

Deacon Willie Perkins

On behalf of the Warminster

Church community