Sunday 22 April 2018

Canadian minerals explorer Dalradian raises €58m for Irish gold mine scheme

'The mine, if granted approval, will intensify the focus on Ireland's prospectivity for gold.' Stock photo: Reuters
'The mine, if granted approval, will intensify the focus on Ireland's prospectivity for gold.' Stock photo: Reuters
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Minerals explorer Dalradian has agreed to raise CAD$85m (€57.5m) to advance a planned gold mine in Northern Ireland.

The Toronto-listed company is raising the money from US mine finance company Orion and Canadian business Osisko Gold Royalties.

Dalradian has been preparing a planning application for the construction of a mine at the Curraghinalt project in Co Tyrone.

It has been carrying out exploration and appraisal work at the site for seven years. In a recent letter to residents Dalradian said it expected to create more than 350 jobs.

Dalradian chief executive Patrick Anderson said the deal was "a strong vote of confidence in both the Curraghinalt Gold Project and in Northern Ireland as an investment destination by two highly respected mining finance groups".

"Today's placement, together with all recent warrant exercises, will provide the company with additional equity funding in excess of CAD$110m.

"This means that the company is now well-funded to move Curraghinalt through permitting, while continuing to expand and improve the value of the project through further investment in exploration and engineering."

Another company called Galantas operates a gold mine nearby at Omagh.

Osisko chairman and chief executive Sean Roosken said it was "very pleased to participate in the advancement of one of the world's top undeveloped gold projects in a new emerging gold district."

Dalradian acknowledged that there has been concern expressed by the community at the prospect of the mine being built.

"The idea of a gold mine in our area has worried some people. We hope that through the application process, as people become familiar with details of the proposal, they will be reassured about our plans," the company said.

The mine, if granted approval, will intensify the focus on Ireland's prospectivity for gold.

Conroy Gold and Natural Resources - which has been the subject of a major dispute between its chairman and biggest shareholder - is among the companies with prospecting licences in the northern part of the country. The price of gold per ounce is up about 13pc so far this year.

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