At Connemara Mining’s recent AGM, chairman John Teeling shared his optimistic outlook for zinc and gold exploration in Ireland.
Connemara’s strategy is to identify highly prospective ground for zinc and gold exploration in Ireland, one of the world’s premier regions for zinc mineralization, and bring in joint venture partners to push exploration ahead.
The market remains sceptical, however. The company market capitalization is currently £1.5 million, a level which the company feels falls dramatically short of the value of the joint venture projects.
But John Teeling is hopeful for the future and sees green shoots emerging for mineral exploration in Ireland.
“After years in the doldrums there are signs that our exploration sector can look forward to better times”, he says.
“The zinc price is rising, the gold price is stable, US$20 million has been raised by Dalradian for gold exploration in Northern Ireland and there is some interest in our assets.”
Among the company’s assets is the drill-ready Monaster Block in County Limerick, Ireland where Connemara’s joint venture partner, Canadian mining giant Teck Resources, is continuing a program of limited geophysical and lithogeochemical testing.
While Teck and Connemara may, at times, differ in opinion regarding the optimal exploration strategy for the asset, Teck has put in 3,000 metres of drilling on the property as part of the earn-in process and conducted a great deal of sensing work designed to pinpoint high priority targets for further drilling.
Given the large amount of capital being invested in exploration at Monaster and the application of Teck’s considerable expertise in mineral exploration, the project remains a highly prospective one for shareholders despite the slower-than-expected pace set so far.
Meanwhile at the Oldcastle Block of licences in Cavan/Meath, Teck can earn a 75 per cent indirect interest in the licences by spending €1.35 million by 2018. Teck is now in charge of supplying all the capital required for exploration at the Oldcastle Block and is currently reviewing extensive geological, geophysical, and geochemical data with the aim of focussing the drill targeting program.
Elsewhere, the company has a farm-in agreement in place with Hendrick Resources of Canada whereby Hendrick can earn a 75 per cent interest in Connemara’s block of four licences in the Wicklow/Wexford area by spending €1 million.
There, the Hendrick team are currently undertaking a detailed soil and rock sampling program in a zone with interesting recent gold results.
The company has also maintained a number of additional zinc and gold properties and anticipates that the steadying gold price and looming global shortage of zinc will result in a resurgence of interest in its portfolio of properties.