Dal­ra­dian says gold qual­ity at mine site ‘bet­ter than ex­pected’

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Front Page - BY MAR­GARET CAN­NING

THE com­pany be­hind con­tro­ver­sial plans for a gold mine in Co Ty­rone has said the gold within the site is of a higher grade than pre­vi­ously thought.

Dal­ra­dian, which wants to build a mine at Cur­raghinalt near Green­cas­tle, said a new study showed that the quan­tity of “very high qual­ity ore” had risen from 4.4 mil­lion ounces to 6.1 mil­lion.

Ac­cord­ing to Dal­ra­dian, the up­dated min­eral re­source state­ment “places Cur­raghinalt in the top 10% of un­mined gold de­posits in the world and of­fers greater re­silience to gold price fluc­tu­a­tions as a re­sult”.

And it said that the find­ings may mean that the mine — if it goes ahead — could gen­er­ate a sec­ond phase after an ini­tial 25-year life­span, “pro­vid­ing sus­tain­able, well-paid jobs in west Ty­rone for many decades to come”.

Dal­ra­dian has said the mine would bring 350 well-paid jobs to the area and gen­er­ate $1bn over 25 years.

President and chief ex­ec­u­tive Pa­trick FN An­der­son said the up­date showed Cur­raghinalt was “a ro­bust, high-grade gold sys­tem that con­tin­ues to grow as we in­vest and ex­plore”.

He added: “Since we took over the project al­most a decade ago we have trans­formed it from an early stage de­posit to one of the best gold projects in the planet.”

Two years ago, the com­pany was in dis­pute over the pay­ment of an in­voice is­sued by the PSNI over the trans­port of ex­plo­sives on the site. How­ever, there was no up­date from the com­pany or the PSNI.

The plans have at­tracted con­tro­versy over the vis­ual im­pact on the Sper­rins Moun­tains as well as over the use of ex­plo­sives.

A plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for the mine was lodged last year and is still pend­ing.

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