Australian firm 'excited' by Sperrins mining finds
Australian mining company Walkabout Resources has said it has made "very exciting" discoveries while searching for gold and other precious metals in Slieve Gallion in Co Tyrone.
The firm has signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with Koza UK, which has a mineral prospecting licence for a location around 20km from Curraghinalt, where Canadian company Dalradian wants to develop a gold mine.
Walkabout is best-known for its graphite work but acquired a Northern Ireland exploration portfolio for $100,000 in November from platinum miner Lonmin.
And last week it announced it had entered the JV, giving it a 75% stake in the Slieve Gallion gold licence. Koza is a British subsidiary of Turkish miner Koza Altin.
In a statement this week, Walkabout said it had found the presence of cobalt-copper-silver in the area while searching for gold.
Executive chairman Trevor Benson said: "These separate and very exciting styles of both base-metal and gold mineral occurrences on the Slieve Gallion licence further endorse the diversification strategy embarked upon by the company last year.
"The presence of potentially significant cobalt mineralisation in a stable jurisdiction such as Northern Ireland further enhances the value of our diversified portfolio."
The company said its strategy here was "to follow a parallel exploration programme focusing on gold and base metals, while maintaining a key interest in energy metals".
And it said its reinterpretation of regional data for Slieve Gallion meant it was one of the highest priority areas in the province for base metal and gold exploration.
"Further project scale review of the historical geological, geophysical and early stage exploration data generated previously has identified several priority target areas within the Slieve Gallion licence," it added.
The company said it would now be re-evaluating the proposed exploration programme for the licence with its JV partner.
It's going to start infill soil sampling this week.
Speaking at the time of its Lonmin acquisition, Mr Benson said: "The opportunity to acquire such an extensive high-quality exploration portfolio from a major such as Lonmin is indicative of our team's significant international expertise to assess the geological potential and move quickly to capitalise on these rare opportunities."