Would-be Tyrone gold miner attracts €348m takeover bid

Dalradian Resources wants to develop mine at Curraghinalt

Dalradian last year applied for planning permission for a gold mine at Curraghinalt in Co Tyrone. Photograph: iStock

Dalradian last year applied for planning permission for a gold mine at Curraghinalt in Co Tyrone. Photograph: iStock

 

Dalradian Resources, the Canadian- and London-listed group, which wants to develop a controversial gold mine at Curraghinalt in Tyrone, has attracted a takeover bid that values the company at C$537 million (€348 million).

US private equity firm Orion Mine Finance, which owns a 20.4 per cent stake in Dalradian, wants to buy the vast majority of the remaining shares that it does not already hold. Directors and senior management of Dalradian have entered into agreements to support the offer.

Under the terms of the deal, Dalradian shareholders would receive C$1.47 for each share held.

Orion has said it will not acquire shares held by certain members of the company’s senior management team or those held by Sean Roosen and Osisko Gold Royalties, which last October invested $28.2 million in Dalradian.

According to Oskar Lewnowski, chief investment officer of Orion, Dalradian’s Northern Ireland operations represent “one of the world’s best undeveloped gold deposits”.

“Curraghinalt gets more exciting as additional exploration and engineering work is completed, the recent positive resource update being just the latest example.

“We look forward to working with the core Dalradian management team to secure planning permission for a world-class mine using best-in-class mining, processing and environmental standards,” he said.

Planning permission

Dalradian last year formally applied for planning permission to develop a gold mine at Curraghinalt in Co Tyrone where, it said, it had identified a deposit of “a lode gold system”.

It previously claimed the gold project had the potential to create more than 350 jobs in the North.

It is one of two Canadian groups that have pursued plans to dig for gold in Tyrone. Galantas Gold Corporation, also listed in Toronto and London, owns a gold mine near Omagh.

Dalradian has met fierce opposition in Northern Ireland from environmentalists and local activists who claim the company’s proposals could result in potential water and air pollution.

Cormac McAleer, from the Save Our Sperrins group, previously said: “We have a massive resource in Curraghinalt in terms of archaeology and sadly this company would do away with that for the sake of short-term wealth for a very small number of people.”

But Patrick FN Anderson, chief executive of Dalradian, believes that both Orion and Osisko are “showing great confidence in Northern Ireland”.

“Their goals as strategic investors are completely aligned with ours – to secure planning permission for an underground gold mine and continue advancing the project in a way that benefits all our stakeholders.

“We will continue to work closely with community members, all levels of government, employees, contractors and local suppliers toward building one of the world’s top gold mines.”