Dalradian Gold increases staff at Northern Ireland site
A company which hopes to mine for gold in a controversial Co Tyrone project has said it has increased its workforce to 85 as exploration drilling resumes.
Canadian company Dalradian Gold, which is working on the Curraghinalt site under the Sperrin Mountains, said it's taken on another 14 drillers and drill helpers.
It has also taken on seven paid interns on the site near Gortin in specialisms including geology, environment and administration.
The firm is set to submit a planning application to build the mine this year, but has come under fire from residents and environmental groups over the impact a mine would have on the area.
Brian Kelly, managing director at Dalradian Gold, said: "Additional exploratory drilling will further improve our understanding of the gold deposit as we continue to refine our plans for a mine at Curraghinalt.
"Exploration is an ongoing process and typically continues even while mining is taking place.
"We are keen supporters of education and training. In addition to providing bursaries to students at South West College, we are hiring seven summer interns, as we do every year.''
However, residents in the area have expressed concerns about the use of cyanide in the mining process.
And last year the company was embroiled in a row with the PSNI over a £400,000 bill for the cost of transporting explosives to the site.
Dalradian last year released the findings of feasibility study which said that the Curraghinalt Gold Project would support at least 300 jobs during the two-year construction of the mine and more than 350 permanent jobs when the mine is up and running.
According to the report by JDS Energy & Mining Inc, it would pay annual wages of around £21m to direct employees and contribute around £18m to the government every year in income tax, corporation tax and national insurance contributions
Dalradian has been working on the potential mine for around eight years and said it had invested more than £62m to date in drilling, engineering, geological and environmental studies in the area.