Published Tuesday, 19 August 2014
Dalradian Resources controls the mineral rights to over 80,000 hectares of land in Northern Ireland including the Curraghinalt gold deposit outside Gortin, which has been identified as one of the top 10 undeveloped gold deposits in the world.
Dalradian Resources has been working in the area since 2010 and has completed a number of exploration programs already, identifying 3.5m ounces of gold.
The company employs 23 people at facilities in Omagh and Gortin and it is increasing its workforce by 19 to ramp-up its exploration of the area.
The new jobs will also support the company's pre-commercialisation work at the Curraghinalt gold deposit.
The company has invested more than £35m and is planning spending an extra £20m prior to beginning mine construction.
Surveys have shown an underground mine could produce 145,000 ounces of gold per year over 15 years potentially employing 300 workers.
Dalradian's chief executive Patrick Anderson said: "Our board, which has developed mines all over the globe, is focused on the Curraghinalt deposit in Northern Ireland because it has the right combination of geology, infrastructure, workforce and a business-friendly government.
"To date, the gold deposit has responded exactly as we'd hoped. As we've invested, it has grown and the preliminary economic assessment is very positive.
"This next phase of underground exploration, which will be managed and operated out of our Tyrone facilities, will take us through the more advanced economic assessment required to reach a mine construction decision."
Invest NI with the support of the European Regional Development Fund has offered over £326,000 of support for the jobs and associated training, which is expected to generate almost £1m a year in salaries.
Patrick Anderson added: "We appreciate the support we've received from all levels of government as well as the local community.
"In return, we're committed to helping to create a new industry in Northern Ireland, to hire locally and build up specialised mining skills through training over the next several years.
"Ultimately, we believe Northern Ireland can support a vibrant mining sector with well-remunerated jobs."
Enterprise Minster Arlene Foster welcomed the decision by the company to expand its operations.
She said: "The company had the option of locating these jobs in Toronto but was swayed by Northern Ireland's cost-effective business environment and the support offered by Invest NI.
"The company is looking to develop the first underground gold mine in Northern Ireland and this offers a unique opportunity to introduce specialist skills and sophisticated international resource investment into our important professional services sector."
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