Gold digging jobs boost for Co Tyrone

Published Tuesday, 19 August 2014
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Almost 20 new jobs have been created by a Canadian company for a gold mining project in Co Tyrone.

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."

© UTV News
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10 Comments
earthwatch in west wrote (72 days ago):
Ok. I do not believe there is 5billion dollars just sitting on a hillside in Tyrone. Has anyone read the economic studies on Dalmatians website? There is a cost associated with finding, digging and extracting gold. If after this exploration project proves its economical to commercially mine gold, it will take 3years, at its cheapest 250million dollars (excluding land purchases) to construct a mine, and approximately another 4 years to recoup the construction costs and start making money. That's 7 years away. And all these hypothetical projections are based on a gold price not dissimilar to todays gold price. Which may get lower. Junior exploration companies like Dalradian take on the financial risks other larger companies walk away from. Dalmatian will big this project up as much as it can, as ultimately they will want to sell it on to a proper mining company. Nationalising such an infant industry is nonsensically.
DC in mid ulster wrote (72 days ago):
I don't think letting our government run a gold mining operation would work. look at the amount of other departments that are accused of being corrupt and they wouldn't be dealing with the amount of money being talked about here. This company have obviously bought these mineral rights and they are taking a risk on investment that they will get the amounts of gold they are talking about. if the company makes 5 billion out of the mines then the government will be able to get some of that back through taxes etc.
Sean Devlin in Omagh wrote (72 days ago):
The Canadians are looking to exploit land that has been in my family for generations. Watching the news report I was unhappy to the fact that little attention was given to the potential environmental issues that the mining will cause. However, as always economics rules in this society and nature comes second. The environmental issues will probably only be discussed on insight when the damage has been done in thirty years time.
Gerard in Belfast wrote (72 days ago):
I appreciate that these mining companies have the specialised expertise to extract this gold. But we all know the sorts of profits these companies can make. We own the country and surely government should be negotiating for a better deal, than a few hundred short term jobs with the tax payer paying to train along with whatever other grants government are prepared to grant in order to woe them. This potential wealth will once against fill the pockets of the wealthy and all we will get is whatever taxes cannot be avoided and a few hundred jobs. Until government abandons this neo liberal dogma that we will all benefit if we allow the rich to get richer the wealth that we all reside over will continue to go to the wealthy. Once again this amounts to a wealth grab by the wealthy accomodated by the political classes who represent noone but themselves.
barry in dungannon wrote (73 days ago):
the reason minister foster they didn't locate the jobs to Toronto is because the gold is in tyrone it would be a long dig oh and the fact these companies only have to turn up at govt buildings and there showered with money
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