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Eureka! There’s gold in them Co Monaghan hills

Ireland’s first commercial gold mine being planned along 50km “gold trend” from Cavan to Armagh.

Image: Gold via Shutterstock

AN IRISH PROSPECTING company is planning to develop what could be a “new European gold-mining district” yielding over 500 tonnes of the precious metal along the northern border.

Gold exploration and mining company Conroy Gold and Natural Resources is putting together its scheme to build Ireland’s first commercial gold mine at Clontibret in Co Monaghan along a nearly 50km “gold trend” stretching from Co Armagh to Co Cavan.

The Dublin-based company today announced its two-step plan for the Clontibret site, the first stage of which involved building a starter pit – a shallow mine - at an estimated cost of about €32 million.

Conroy Gold said the first pit would concentrate on “a high-grade, densely drilled portion of the resource” that would generate positive cash flows within the first two years of its operation.

The second phase would involve a possible underground mine, as well as more surface pits, to get to gold found 12m below the surface during earlier drilling.

A European gold district in Ireland

Chairman Prof Richard Conroy said the Clontibret plans were ”set within what we believe is the beginning of a new European gold mining district with exploration and conceptual studies by the company suggesting the potential for 15-20 million ounces of gold within the 30-mile gold trend and also possibly zinc and other mineral potential.”

Conroy Gold Business EGMS Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

The company said it was continuing to explore along the trend and it had earmarked other potential mining sites like its find at Clay Lake, to the northeast of Clontibret, where there was “potential for high tonnage and overall gold content”.

And there’s zinc there too

A large zinc “anomaly” – nearly one tenth the size of the entire county – had also been found to the south of the Clay Lake site.

The Clontibret location was the site of an antimony mine in the 1800s but more recent drilling in the area revealed major gold deposits in the region.

On its website, Conroy Gold cited Ireland’s “user-friendly legislation”, tax incentives and ease of exploration as among the reasons for setting up mining operations in the country.

READ: Monaghan mine could end up producing €70 million worth of gold per year

READ: More positive results from tests at Monaghan gold mine site

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Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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