Galantas Gold (TSX, LON: GAL) is fine-tunning details to begin operations at its Omagh mine in Northern Ireland, with commercial production to start at the end of the current quarter.
The Canada-headquartered junior expects to produce 9,000 ounces of gold in concentrate at an average head grade of 5.5 grams per tonne (g/t) at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1,150 per ounce this year.
Output is expected to increase next year to 17,800 ounces at an average grade of 8 g/t and an AISC of $1,350 per ounce, Galantas said.
Chief executive Mario Stifano noted technical and engineering studies to expand and upgrade the processing plant to support a Phase 2 expansion to 35,000 ounces of gold a year were under way.
Galantas has budgeted $4.2 million for growth capital expenditure this year.
Omagh’s underground development was paused in 2017 until the local police (PSNI) was able to increase its availability of anti-terrorism cover.
Blasting activities were halted again in the late 2019 mainly because of limitations imposed by the PSNI. Ore production was then suspended in 2020 due to insufficient funds and the impact of the global pandemic.
Gold mining companies operating in Northern Ireland secured an agreement with the government in September, which granted them free policing linked to the handling of explosives.
As a result, the Toronto-based junior will be reimbursed the over $200,000 (£150K) it had had to pay for what the PSNI had qualified as “special police services.”
Galantas is not the only Canadian miner in Ireland. Toronto-based Dalradian Resources (TSX: DNA) has been working on its proposed gold project in Tyrone since early 2010.
Northern Ireland holds the world’s seventh richest resource of gold, but political violence kept most investors away for decades.