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Mining company says search for gold in Co Armagh is progressing

By Rachel Martin

Published 24/11/2015

Sources of gold have been reported in several locations in Northern Ireland
Sources of gold have been reported in several locations in Northern Ireland

Gold mine company Conroy has said it has made "excellent progress" with its exploration programme in Co Armagh.

A report from Dublin-based exploration company Conroy Gold and Natural Resources plc stated that "wide gold zones" had been found during trenching and drilling at its site at Clay Lake in Keady, south Armagh.

Gold was first found in the area in 1989 in a stream draining into Clay Lake. Gold traces were also discovered in the rocks at Clontibret, Co Monaghan where the company has proposals to create an open pit mine.

And Canadian firm Dalradian Resources has said Curraghinalt near Gortin, Co Tyrone, could yield hundreds of millions of pounds worth of gold.

Addressing shareholders in a statement accompanying the results for the year ending May 31, 2015, Conroy chairman Professor Richard Conroy said: "There was further excellent progress with your company's exploration programme particularly at the Clay Lake gold target in Co Armagh and the Slieve Glah gold target in Co Cavan together with the discovery of a new gold target at Rockcorry in Co Monaghan."

Conroy said the Clay Lake gold target was greater in surface area than the Clontibret gold target.

Prof Conroy added: "Geologically the Clay Lake gold target appears to be a black carbonaceous shale-hosted deposit. Wild gold zones have been encountered during trenching and drilling, and the deposit could well contain very high gold content and tonnage."

In total, analysts at the company believe there is around 20 million ounces of gold on both sides of the border. In Keady, surveys have shown that the gold extends to depths of over 100m.

In its results for the year ending May 31, 2015, Conroy made a loss of almost €315,314 (£221,000), down from over €380,305 (£266,000) the previous year. Net assets were €15.3m (£10.7m), up from £10m (€14,29m).

The news comes as gold prices hit £707 a troy ounce, just a few pounds more than when it was at £699, the lowest price in over five years in August.

The mining firm has been listed on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) since 2001 and was listed on the Irish Stock Exchange in December 2009.

However, economist John Simpson said that he was "cynical" of the claims of mining companies who were investigating Northern Ireland, adding that there had been "several false promises" made by gold companies in the past 40 years in Northern Ireland.

Mining company says search for gold in Co Armagh is progressing

Belfast Telegraph

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