Years of zinc exploration expected

Zinc exploration is expected to become a way of life in the county for the next few years.

Zinc exploration is expected to become a way of life in the county for the next few years.

Lundin Mining Exploration Ltd who are currently drilling as part of an exploration licence in the Cloone/ Mohill area said the entire area is “under explored” and they expect to be drilling for many years within the county as part of an exploration into the minerals underground.

Local manager, Paul Gordon who is based in Co Clare told the paper the company has been drilling in the Cloone/ Mohill area since August 2011 but have recently “stepped up the programme.” They said they are working well with local landowners and have explained the process to them fully.

Lundin Mining Exploration holds 16 contiguous Prospecting Licences (Pls) in counties Leitrim, Cavan and Longford. This group of Pls is called the Lakelands Block.

The company told the paper it is at the “really early days” with the exploration. They could not answer questions about quantities or an estimated value of the minerals. They were also unable to say whether they will be applying for an exploration licence at the end of the six year prospecting period.

Mr Gordon said, “This is an early stage exploration project within a large area, so it is impossible to tell if there is sufficient zinc and to consider extraction. 

We don’t know how much zinc is in the area…it is impossible to understand the mineral potential of the area.”

Lundin Mining exploration are using a drilling technique called wireline drilling, which according to the company “is a standard drilling technique that has been  in use in Ireland for over 40 years. It is the same drilling technique used in many other exploration projects around the country.” Paul Gordon said it is a “low impact” procedure.

The aim of core drilling is not to make a hole, but to retrieve a core sample- a long solid cylinder of rock that geologists can analyse to determine the composition of rock under the ground. These trays are currently brought to the LME core shed in Mohill. The rock retrieved is then brought to a permanent core storage in Co. Clare The drill holes range in diameter from 8-10cm and are about 30 -400 metres deep. “This is a rock extraction process only in order to determine the rock types beneath the drill rig and if any mineralization is present.”

The Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources informed the paper that The Lakelands Lead-Zinc Project is being undertaken by Lundin Mining Exploration Ltd, which holds 11 prospecting licences in south Leitrim. The licences were granted from 2008 on, with the latest being approved in January 2012. According to the Department “The Prospecting Licence gives the holder the right to explore for certain specific minerals denoted in the licence. It confers no authority to mine minerals.” The Department said, “Currently there are almost 600 prospecting licences held by 45 companies throughout Ireland. While no new commercially viable deposits of minerals have been discovered in the past ten years, there have been some encouraging results, particularly in Counties Limerick and Clare. However it is too early to determine whether these results will lead to identification of commercially viable deposits.

Directors of Lundin Mining Exploration Ltd registered in Co Clare include Neil O’Brien (Canadian), Ciara Talbot (Irish) and Josephine McCabe (UK)

Local Geology Manager, Paul Gordon said “Our plan is to drill for 3-4 months in the Cloone area to gain a better understanding of the geology in the area. He concluded saying “The whole Lakelands Block is under explored, so we are likely to be working in the county for a few more years.”

er extraction. We don’t know how much zinc is in the area ... it is impossible to understand the mineral potential of the area.”

Lundin Mining exploration are using a drilling technique called wireline drilling, which according to the company “is a standard drilling technique that has been  in use in Ireland for over 40 years. It is the same drilling technique used in many other exploration projects around the country.” Paul Gordon said it is a “low impact” procedure.

The aim of core drilling is not to make a hole, but to retrieve a core sample- a long solid cylinder of rock that geologists can analyse to determine the composition of rock under the ground. These trays are currently brought to the LME core shed in Mohill. The rock retrieved is then brought to a permanent core storage in Co. Clare The drill holes range in diameter from 8-10cm and are about 30 -400 metres deep. “This is a rock extraction process only in order to determine the rock types beneath the drill rig and if any mineralization is present.”

The Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources informed the paper that The Lakelands Lead-Zinc Project is being undertaken by Lundin Mining Exploration Ltd, which holds 11 prospecting licences in south Leitrim. The licences were granted from 2008 on, with the latest being approved in January 2012. According to the Department “The Prospecting Licence gives the holder the right to explore for certain specific minerals denoted in the licence. It confers no authority to mine minerals.” The Department said, “Currently there are almost 600 prospecting licences held by 45 companies throughout Ireland. While no new commercially viable deposits of minerals have been discovered in the past ten years, there have been some encouraging results, particularly in Counties Limerick and Clare. However it is too early to determine whether these results will lead to identification of commercially viable deposits.

Directors of Lundin Mining Exploration Ltd registered in Co Clare include Neil O’Brien (Canadian), Ciara Talbot (Irish) and Josephine McCabe (UK)

Local Geology Manager, Paul Gordon said “Our plan is to drill for 3-4 months in the Cloone area to gain a better understanding of the geology in the area. He concluded saying “The whole Lakelands Block is under explored, so we are likely to be working in the county for a few more years.”