Connemara Mining strike gold with Inishowen drilling programme

A previous Tellus Border Survey found 'pockets' of gold in Inishowen.

A previous Tellus Border Survey found 'pockets' of gold in Inishowen.

Connemara Mining has reported “very good results” in their short-hole drilling programme in Inishowen, with gold bearing veins discovered in each of the three holes drilled.

The exploration company were granted five prospecting licences covering 187sq km of the peninsula, in an area surrounding Quigley’s Point.

The drilling programme followed the discovery of gold bearing veins discovered in the trenching programme, which took place last year.

The best results were found in the third hole, with 3.15m grading (width) at 5.8g/t Au (grammes per tonne.)

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ chairperson of Connemara Mining John Teeling said that while the results were “very good” they should also “come with a major health warning.”

He told how a “lot of work” had been undertaken in Inishowen for decades, with many people suspecting that gold could be found.

Mr Teeling said that following the granting of licences, the company initially panned rivers and found “small quantities” of gold, which weren’t commercially viable.

They then undertook their trenching programme and gold bearing veins were found. Mr Teeling said that at this stage, although they knew gold was present, they did not know the width of the veins, which can be “very narrow.”

He told how, in order for the gold to be viable commercially, there needs to be a “minimum” of 5g per tonne.

Mr Teeling said: “That’s about a sixth of an ounce. Gold is selling at 1200 dollars for a tonne of rock, so 5g of gold would be around 200 dollars. You’d need about that commercially as gold is expensive. It’s all about grade, grade, grade.”

Mr Teeling said that when the veins are found, the company then needs to identify three things.

“First of all, we need to know what kind of grade is in the veins. And the first hole was very good.

Secondly, we need to ask if it is a mineable width, ie: is it wide enough so that we can mine it? 3m width at 5.8g is quite significant. We found veins before which were a lot narrower and this is the first time we found mineable width.”

He added: “The significance of 3m at 5.8g is that it would be commercial and that’s unusual.”

Mr Teeling said the company will now invest further in their programme and will drill four ‘step-out holes’ at 300m depth to see of the vein “goes all the way down.” This will cost in the region of £200,000 sterling.

He said: “It’s a lot of money but it’ll mean we’ll have a little bit more information.”

Mr Teeling said the “positive” results also gives the company justification in their programme.

He said: “These results mean we do feel justified. Geologists said there may be gold there and it’s very good from Connemara Mining’s viewpoint.”

Mr Teeling also told how the land is similar in geology to the Dalradian discovery in Co Tyrone but added that it would be “many more years yet” before there was any possibility of operating a gold mine in Inishowen.

He said they were working with local landowners and the next drilling programme would “not cause any disruption.”

“You won’t even know we’re there,” he said. Connemara Minings share value soared on Thursday following the confirmation of the results.