Conroy Gold and Natural Resources, the Dublin-based prospecting firm, is to begin looking for joint venture partners to develop its assets in the border counties.
In a brief operational update, which boosted its share price, the company yesterday said that it has commenced a fresh drilling programme at its Glenish licence in Co Monaghan, which will be closely followed by additional drilling activity at its headline prospects at Clontibret in Co Monaghan and Clay Lake in Co Armagh.
An independent study has put combined estimated resources for Clontibret and Clay Lake at 5m ounces of gold, understood to be around five times previous targets.
Chairman Richard Conroy said that while the company was originally planning separate mine developments at Clontribret and Clay Lake, it may now consider one mining complex — inclusive of one or more mines and numerous processing plants — to cover both projects.
The cost of developing Ireland’s first commercial gold mine would likely top €45m and Prof Conroy said the company would now be looking at bringing on board a joint-venture partner to progress the project whatever route it takes.
Commerciality of a gold mine is still likely to be at least three years away, allowing for the introduction of a partner and the receipt of project financing and planning approval.
Conroy was a strong mover on the AIM market yesterday, with its shares rising by around 27% to nearly 30p on the back of its latest update.
Earlier this week, Conroy’s sister company, Karelian Diamonds, said it was nearing the prospect of developing its first commerical diamond mine in Finland, its region of focus.
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