JOHN DALY: Gold mining prospects start to shine again up North

John Daly

Despite the ongoing concerns over border controls in the post-Brexit era, the North could benefit from a potential gold rush as recent discoveries in the region indicate significant deposits.

A feasibility study on the Curraghinalt seam in Tyrone has indicated potential gold recoveries of over 94%, resulting in a 5% rise in the share price of Canadian gold exploration and development company Dalradian Resources. 

With estimates predicting that over 2 million ounces are potentially recoverable, the project may yet yield a golden future for this area.

Having been granted prospecting licenses for two additional sectors stretching over approximately 122,000 hectares, the company recently began prospecting and sampling as part of its 2016 regional exploration program.

In May, Dalradian announced an updated mineral resource estimate for Curraghinalt, including a 109% increase in gold compared with 2014.

“We first visited Northern Ireland in 2009, when the government was looking for a group with the experience and resources to grow and develop Curraghinalt,” said Dalradian’s CEO, Patrick FN Anderson. 

“Since that beginning, we have been able to grow Curraghinalt more than six-fold and have identified numerous regional gold targets, compiled historic exploration data from elsewhere on our properties into one master exploration database and currently have crews out in the field sampling and prospecting, with the goal of making more discoveries.”

Shares in another Irish exploration company, Connemara Mining, also rose recently following a gold discovery at one of its licensed tracts in Donegal. 

Work to date has indicated at least seven stacked veins over a distance of 270 metres.

“This is the next stage in what is turning into an exciting gold exploration project,” said chairman John Teeling. 

“The discovery is similar to the Dalradian gold resource across the border in Co Tyrone.”

Connemara Mining, established in 2004, currently holds 35 prospecting licences throughout Ireland, of which 20 are held directly, while the remaining 15 are joint ventures with the Teck and Hendricks companies.

Also within the province, Conroy Gold and Natural Resources recently announced four new gold zones in a drilling programme at its Glenish gold target. 

The Glenish site measures 147 hectares, located 7.5km southwest of the company’s Clay Lake-Clontibret gold target where it is targeting a potential of 5 million ounces of gold.

“The newly discovered gold zones significantly upgrade the potential of the Glenish gold target, and further enhances the perspectivity of the company’s gold licences in Ireland,” said chairman Professor Richard Conroy. 

“The establishment of a combined exploration target of 5 million oz of gold at Clay Lake- Clontibret is a major step forward for the company, at a time when the price of gold is also rising again.”

Ireland may have significantly more gold and precious metals deposits than previously thought, according to results from the Geological Survey of Ireland’s Tellus programme.

Applying modern testing methods to samples collected in the 1980s, the survey found notable levels of platinum in the Aughrim and Tinahely region, on the Wicklow-Wexford border. 

More valuable than gold, and important to electronics, medical applications and catalytic converters, platinum has never before been analysed in stream sediment from the region.

Significant levels of gold around the Goldmines River and Avoca regions were also confirmed, with high values found further south near Dungarvan and Stradbally.

The mineral exploration industry, currently suffering a major global downturn due to low commodity prices, has led to the closure of a number of mines, said director of the Geological Survey of Ireland, Koen Verbruggen. 

“I am pleased to see the latest Tellus data highlighting new insights, and opening new possible opportunities.”


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