In an interim statement to shareholders, the Directors of Conroy Diamonds & Gold reckoned gold potential on its Irish licences was now in the order of 15-20 million ounces. It should be heeded though that this is not an assessment of the gold resource by any defined reporting standards, but arises from a perhaps optimistic assessment resulting from the limited drilling and geological sampling test work carried out on the company's properties to date.
What the company has actually delineated is a 1 million ounce inferred resource at its Clontibret property on only 20 percent of the defined gold anomalous area and has also exposed an exciting target some 7 km north east of Clontibret at Clay Lake where a gold in soil anomaly has been found which is both larger and higher grade than that at Clontibret. Also at Clontibret a new deep drill hole has intersected four previously unknown gold lode zones lying above the deeper stockwork mineralisation which adds good potential for a resource increase on this initial target property.
In a statement to shareholders, the company's Chairman, Professor Richard Conroy, said Whilst there has been insufficient exploration to date to define such a mineral resource, and there is no certainty that further exploration will result in a resource of this magnitude being realised, the directors believe that the potential is clear and the possibilities exciting.
In addition, the company reports, preliminary in-house technical and economic studies suggest that the 1 million ounce resource already outlined at Clontibret has the potential to become an economically viable mining project. These studies are at a very early stage, however, and must be treated with caution as they are based on the resource estimate to date, over half of which is in the Inferred category at this stage.
The statement to shareholders is set about with warnings that the interpretations could prove over-optimistic, but Professor Conroy has had important exploration success in Ireland in the past and if the prognostication proves to be correct, the Conroy licences would almost certainly become attractive to a larger mining company as the target could be of sufficient size to build a decent sized mine in a European environment.
The discoveries so far, though, straddle the border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland (part of the United Kingdom and scene of considerable political unrest in the past) which may complicate permitting should a sufficient sized economic resource be proven up, but both administrations would no doubt be keen for such a project to go ahead - particularly with its job implications in the current financial environment. The gold price, if it continues to perform, will also help the prospects for a new Irish gold mine - but this is still some years away.