Outstanding base metal exploration potential on the doorstep of Western Europe
Ireland is internationally renowned as a major zinc-lead mining province. Geologically, the country is fortunate in having a widespread carbonate succession that has proved to be a favourable host for base metal mineralisation.
The bulk of these carbonates occur in a world-class mineral province, the Central Ireland Basin, where thick Lower Carboniferous carbonate rocks occur in a number of sub-basins. The known deposits display clear evidence of stratigraphic and structural control.
Stratigraphic control is evidenced by mineralisation occurring along three preferential horizons, the lowermost Navan Group, the Waulsortian Reef Limestone (a mudback complex up to 1,500m thick), and occasionally in beds above the Waulsortion Reef.
Over the past four decades, numerous world-class base metal discoveries have been made, placing Ireland firmly on the world-stage as a globally significant zinc-lead province. The known deposits contain some 14 million tonnes of zinc metal, approximately 1.5% of all world zinc found to date.
Ireland’s zinc-lead deposits in production comprise Europe’s largest at Navan (>70Mt), the 18.9Mt Lisheen deposit (recently closed after being mined out) and Galmoy (6.2Mt).
The combined output from these mines has made Ireland the largest zinc producer in Europe and the second largest producer of lead.
“Since 1960, Ireland has had a string of significant zinc-lead discoveries, placing it firmly on the world stage as a country with proved prime zinc-lead territory. The known deposits contain some 14 Mt of zinc metal, approximately 1.5% of world zinc found to date. Ranked 1st in the world in terms of zinc discovered per square kilometre and 2nd in the world for lead discovered per square kilometre, Ireland’s zinc-lead deposits in current production comprise Europe’s largest at Navan (70Mt), the 18.9Mt Lisheen deposit and Galmoy (6.2Mt).”
– Exploration and Mining Division of Ireland