Cross-border gold map to benefit broad range of interests

Farmers, advisers, horticulturists and feed and agrochemical merchants will gain invaluable insights on soils from a new cross-border gold map.

The Tellus Border Project will collate geological data on new gold occurrences in places such as the Kingscourt on the Monaghan-Cavan border, Carrickmacross in Co Monaghan, Killashandra in Co Cavan, Easky in Co Sligo, several areas of the Inishowen Peninsula, and Termon, in Co Donegal.

The project will also map known gold pockets such as Clontibret in Co Monaghan, and Glentogher and Glencolumbkille in Co Donegal.

Significantly for farmers, Tellus will also enhance agricultural planning with new micro-nutrient data on soil elements.

Landowners will also appreciate the tenfold increase in the accuracy of their local radon risk map; as well, no doubt, as learning of the anomalous gold concentrations in stream sediments in their region.

Fergus O’Dowd, Junior Minister in the Department of Communication

s, Energy & Natural Resources, said: “I am delighted that this new dataset is available and its results will assist mineral exploration in the border county region.

“Following the Tellus Survey (2004-07), which produced a gold map for Northern Ireland, mineral exploration licence applications increased significantly and it is now estimated that £32m has been stimulated in inward investment to the Northern Irish economy.

Since preliminary data from the Tellus Border project was released in Feb 2013, the border region of Ireland has seen an increase in prospecting licence applications, with a committed spend of up to €1m over a six-year period in the Irish economy, if the applications are successful.

“The gold map, along with other maps released today, will add to that economic investment already beginning in the Border area.”

The project pools data from a land-based geochemical survey and an airborne geophysical survey. Managed jointly by the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland, Tellus Border is one of the most significant mapping projects ever to take place in Ireland.

Along with the results from the two surveys, findings from 13 applied research projects were revealed, indicating new and innovative uses for the data in environmental management, mineral exploration and agricultural productivity.

Through its extensive ground-sampling programme — with close to 21,000 soil, water and sediment samples collected — Tellus Border has also revealed information on over 50 elements in soil including those critical to animal and crop health in the border region.

* www.tellusborder.eu

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