Planned reopening of Galmoy mine could deliver 190 jobs

Shannon Resources Ltd has lodged twin planning applications with Laois and Kilkenny county councils to restart mining activities

Some 190 jobs could be created with the planned reopening of Galmoy zinc and lead mine in Kilkenny and Laois.

Shannon Resources Ltd has lodged twin planning applications with Laois and Kilkenny county councils to restart mining activities.

Documents lodged with the councils said that mining was ended “prematurely” at Galmoy in 2014.

Mining at Galmoy commenced in 1997, and planning consultants for Shannon Resources Ltd, Tom Phillips & Associates, said that "significant ore reserves remain underground".

The application stated that the reopening would involve the creation of 100 construction jobs for a one-year period, and 90 jobs when the mine was operational.

The documents also stated that the mine would have a lifetime of seven to 10 years once operations restart.

The submission by the consultants said that “an accessible mineral resource with existing associated infrastructure such as that at the Galmoy mine is rare. There is a recognised global shortage of minerals such as zinc.”

The consultants also said the global shortage of zinc is causing a knock-on effect on the cost of building materials.

Revenues

Accounts previously filed by former operator Galmoy Mines Ltd show that it generated revenues of €145 million in 2006 and €122 million in 2007.

The planning documentation said that mining would take place 24 hours a day, six days a week, with blasting not taking place on Sundays or bank holidays.

The mining company intends to bulk sort the lead and zinc on site before shipping it overseas for further processing.

The proposed site is 442 hectares and located 3.5km from the village of Galmoy in Co Kilkenny.

The planning documents said that it was anticipated that 310,000 tonnes of ore would be mined a year, while 210,000 tonnes of sorted ore a year would be exported from the site.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times