The company has issued a formal announcement to the London Stock Exchange that an area outside Clontibret in Co. Monaghan has more than one million ounces of gold. Although the grade of the discovered gold is relatively low by world standards, the sheer size of the find and the surging world prices of gold mean it could still be hugely profitable.
Company chairman Professor Richard Conroy said it was a substantial amount of gold by any standards and that he was delighted. He added that a feasibility study is now under way and that at current gold prices, he believes it should make economic sense to mine at Clontibret. Work could begin in less than two years' time.Costs of building and running the mine are estimated at around two-thirds of the value of the unexploited resources. At present prices, the operation could see a return of about € 190 million.
Although there has been very little mining in Ireland for centuries, the island was known as the main source of gold in northern Europe in ancient times. The main mining area was then in the Wicklow Mountains, close to Dublin.
Orders of Irish Druids organised and oversaw the mining, melting and refining of the gold and established a network of trade routes, from the east coast of Ireland across Britain, France and central Europe as far as Scandinavia and the Baltic countries in the North, and Spain, Italy and Greece in the south. Druidic gold from Ireland was highly priced and desired in those days and made the Celtic wise men also the first real group of international bankers. The eventual depletion of the Irish mines in the early Middle Ages also led to a decline in the power and influence of the Druids, whose symbol was a golden sickle.
The Emerald Islander