Canadian miners find 'pot of gold' in Ireland
It was not at the end of any rainbow, but Canadian miner Galantas Gold (LON, CVE:GAL), did find a pot of gold in Ireland after it struck a deal this week with TJH Ltd of Dublin over the production, marketing and sale of a range of jewellery using the firm's Irish output.
The company, which owns the —until recently— only gold mine in Ireland (Omagh), is waiting to hear about its planning application for underground mining before the end of the year. If successful, the new mine level would allow Galantas to expands Omagh open pit gold mine’s output, which reached 3,200 ounces, or 102kg, in 2012, and about half that amount last year as production stopped.
Galantas is not the only Canadian miner venturing in Northern Ireland. Dalradian Resources (TSX:DNA), a small company admitted this week to trade on London's junior AIM market (LON:DALR), is betting on Curraghinalt, a deposit near Omagh that was first explored in the 1980s.
Dalradian, which counts with the same staff that discovered Ecuador's largest gold project Fruta del Norte, believes Curraghinalt is one of the world’s highest-grade bullion projects. The company says it would be the first to produce gold in Northern Ireland on an industrial scale.
The renewed interest in Ireland’s gold holds out the prospect of an economic boost for one of the UK’s poorest regions, according to Financial Times (subs. required):
“… [It comes] at a time when George Osborne, chancellor, has signalled his willingness to devolve power to set corporation tax to the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Any development would depend on planning permission, environmental safeguards, further financial backing and, crucially, the gold price, which has fallen 30 per cent during the past two years to about $1,200 an ounce.”
Dalradian is currently seeking planning permission to build the Curraghinalt mine, with production potentially able to begin as early as 2017 at an average of 162,000 ounces a year over an 18 years mine life.