Teeling exploration firm weighing up future ownership of Limerick zinc project

Teeling exploration firm weighing up future ownership of Limerick zinc project

Irish mineral exploration company Arkle Resources could dilute its share in the highly-rated Stonepark zinc project in Limerick.

The John Teeling-chaired company - previously known as Connemara Mining - said it is keeping its options open as it refocuses most of its efforts on gold exploration.

Arkle also reported losses of €337,306 for 2018, up from €214,331 for 2017.

Arkle has a 23.44% share of the Stonepark project, which is majorly owned by Canadian resources company Group Eleven. Arkle has the option to further participate in project expenditure.

"Alternatively, we could take the option to dilute. If we chose to do so, to put it in perspective, Group Eleven - or any other investor in the project - would have to spend a further €1m to take Arkle’s share in the project from our current share to just under 21%, €2m to take it to just under 19% and so on. If expenditures of that scale and beyond are being made in the project then we see the overall value of the project being re-rated," said Arkle's chief executive Patrick Cullen.

"We are excited by the recent drilling at Stonepark and the upside potential in the model being developed by Group Eleven. Additionally, the existing deposit at Stonepark lies adjacent to Glencore’s larger Pallas Green deposit - although it is smaller it is higher grade and relatively shallow – so we see it having strategic value. We are keeping our options open at this point and remain supportive of the work our partner is doing to advance the project," he said.

There has been third-party interest in Stonepark and Group Eleven is examining a range of options for the project and surrounding licences.

Regarding its gold prospects, Arkle said while it has reduced its licences at Inishowen in Co Donegal, it is progressing planning applications to mine in Co Tyrone and remains optimistic about its activity in counties Wickow and Wexford.

Results from ongoing work at the Mine River project, straddling Wicklow and Wexford, are due in the near future and new drilling targets are expected to be identified.

Mr Teeling said the London-listed company's current market capitalisation of just over £1m (€1.1m) "significantly" undervalues the potential of its exploration portfolio.

"We raised €230,000 in March to fund ongoing operations. Good results from Mine River could lead to an enhanced drilling campaign," he said.

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