International copper and gold producer Anglo-Asian Mining is to invest in a controlling stake in the Republic’s planned first commercial gold mine.
Irish prospector Conroy Gold and Natural Resources has been looking for a development partner for its gold licences and planned commercial mine at Clontibret in Co Monaghan for some time.
It has now agreed a joint-venture with AIM-listed Anglo-Asian which could see the end goal of a mine in Ireland come into sharper focus within 18 months.
Anglo-Asian will invest an initial €2m for a 17.5% stake in the partnership, completion of which is subject to due diligence and regulatory and shareholder approval.
It has a near-term option to up that spend to €4m for a 25% stake, over the next year and a half, with that early money going to further drilling and development work at Clontibret.
It ultimately has an option to take a 55% stake in the joint-venture in return for bankrolling the ultimate development of a working mine.
In all, the venture – which will see Conroy retain a 45% stake in the project for no extra cost – will own nine of Conroy’s existing ten gold licences in Ireland. The deal will not cover the company’s gold interests in Finland.
Conroy chairman Richard Conroy said the agreement with Anglo-Asian marks “a very significant step forward” for the Irish company’s plans.