Posted on Wednesday 20 August 2014 by Ulster Business

Tyrone strikes gold as dalradian creates jobs

Arlene Foster is pictured at Dalradian's Omagh office with CEO Patrick Anderson

A Canadian mining company is to create 19 new jobs as it expands its gold exploration in Country Tyrone.

Dalradian Resources has mineral rights to explore for the yellow metal across 80,000 hectares including the Curraghinalt gold deposit outside Gortin, which the company said is one of the top ten undeveloped gold deposits in the world.

It’s been exploring the region by taking core samples of rock over the last few years but wants to expand its operations by excavating underground.

The new posts will be based at the company’s bases in Omagh and Gortin and will help establish the first underground gold mine in Northern Ireland.

Enterprise minister Arlene Foster said Dalradian could have located the jobs in Canadan “but was swayed by Northern Ireland’s cost-effective business environment and the support offered by Invest NI.”

The agency has offered over £326,000 of support for the jobs and associated training, which will generate nearly £1m in salaries, a figure which puts the average salary at nearly £53,000 a year each.

Dalradian CEO Patrick Anderson said he is pleased with how the Northern Ireland operations are progressing.

 “Our Board, which has developed mines all over the globe, is focused on the Curraghinalt deposit in Northern Ireland because it has the right combination of geology, infrastructure, workforce and a business-friendly government,” he said. “To date, the gold deposit has responded exactly as we’d hoped; as we’ve invested, it has grown and the preliminary economic assessment is very positive.

“This next phase of underground exploration, which will be managed and operated out of our Tyrone facilities, will take us through the more advanced economic assessment required to reach a mine construction decision.

“We appreciate the support we’ve received from all levels of government as well as the local community. In return, we’re committed to helping to create a new industry in Northern Ireland, to hire locally and build up specialized mining skills through training over the next several years. Ultimately, we believe Northern Ireland can support a vibrant mining sector with well-remunerated jobs.”

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