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Irish company doubles in value after 'significant' gold find in Donegal

But it could be a long time before we know if it’s worth taking out of the ground.

THERE IS DEFINITELY gold in the hills of Donegal, but it is likely to take years to establish whether it is worth the effort to mine it.

Irish exploration firm Connemara Mining has confirmed “without a doubt” that there is a gold-bearing vein system within the rocks of Inishowen, Donegal after drilling three holes in the area.

The announcement saw the firm’s valuation immediately spike – more than tripling from just over one pence a share initially before settling at just under three pence by the time markets closed.

The area where the find was made is believed to be geologically similar to Curraghinalt, Tyrone where there is a potentially massive gold deposit.

Promising results

Speaking to Fora, company chairman John Teeling said that the results are very promising but added that the company will have to carry out more work to find out whether the site is commercially viable.

“As part of our drilling programme last year we found gold veins that were OK, but were narrow, maybe about 10cm wide which wasn’t commercial,” he said.

“One of the veins that we found (as part of the new drilling programme), was 10 feet wide, so it is quite significant.”

The company drilled three holes, the best of which had about $200 worth of gold for every tonne of rock in the area. However, the company has not established how widely this concentration of the precious mineral can be found.

Dr. John Teeling outgoing Chairman of at the ISME Connemara Gold chairman John Teeling Source: Graham Hughes/RollingNews.ie

More exploring

Teeling said that the findings give an additional incentive to spend more on exploration.

“We would need to drill a minimum of 16 holes to be able to say whether it is geologically viable, which would cost about £800,000 (€989,000). We will drill in lots of four because we don’t have all of that at the moment,” he said.

Telling added that the next phase will likely take 12 months to complete, after which the company will then look at a feasibility study – which he says would cost “millions”.

“You could spend £10 million easily on the feasibility phase, that is some way off. We would have an additional partner by then as well, I would imagine,” he said. “It is a promising discovery but at the moment that is all it is, it’s not a mine or anything near it yet.”

Connemara, which was established in 2004 and is not yet revenue-generating, has 35 prospecting licences across the country.

Ireland has never had a commercial gold mine, although there have been several signs of promise in areas such as Monaghan, where exploration company Conroy Gold has reported evidence of high-grade gold deposits.

Written by Paul O’Donoghue and originally published on Fora, a new business publication for Irish startups and SMEs.

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Fora Staff

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