Prospecting company conroy Gold and Natural Resources has announced plans to mine for the substance ‘ antimony’ in Co Monaghan, as well as gold.
The lustrous metalloid is used as an alloying material for tin and lead and for lead antimony plates in batteries.
“Antimony is specified by the European Commission as a critical raw material and a large supply deficit is also forecast by the European Commission,” a statement from the company said.
“Potentially economic quantities,” of the stuff has been found, it says.
Work has been conducted to identify flowsheet options to allow for the extraction of the antimony from the gold bearing concentrate.
“Several process options have been identified, and future metallurgical testwork will include testing these options and optimising extraction to provide a saleable antimony product.”
The firm is planning to develop what could be a “new European gold-mining district” yielding over 500 tonnes of gold along the border, it announced back in September.
The Dublin-based company announced a two-step plan for the Clontibret site, the first stage of which involved building a starter pit – a shallow mine – at an estimated cost of about €32 million.
The second phase would involve a possible underground mine, as well as more surface pits, to get to gold found 12m below the surface during earlier drilling.
The company’s AGM will be held in Dublin today — at which more details about the antimony find will be given.
“The potentially economic quantities of the strategically important mineral antimony, in addition to the gold which is intended to be mined at Clontibret, is a very welcome further development as the Company moves forward with its mining plans for Clontibret,” company chairman Professor Richard Conroy said.