Goldfield drilling to resume in County Wexford

By David Tucker

Published 15/09/2015 | 00:00

a mining exploration company which three years ago said it has achieved exceptionally high gold levels during drilling in County Wexford has just struck a deal with Turkish mining giant Koza Gold to farm out five of its precious metal exploration licences in Ireland.

Drilling is set to begin to begin in the coming days and will last for several months.

In 2012, the IMC Exploration Group said it was 'overwhelmed' with the grade of the samples it had drilled at a site located at Kilmichael, inland near Gorey town.

The new deal will see Koza operate the licences, conducting exploration activities in the fields - four in Wicklow and one in Wexford - and financing the operations in an investment worth €3.4m.

Koza will have a 75 per cent stake in the project while IMC will hold the remaining 25 per cent.

The licences are close to the ancient Avoca copper and gold mines, where exploration dates back to the Bronze Age, and to the Gold Mines river, the scene of the 1796 goldrush.

IMC announced in 2012 that it had found 'exceptionally high' gold results after drilling in the north of County Wexford.

Chairman Liam McGrattan said that the company had more positive results from drilling in January and decided to bring in Koza to help develop the licences faster.

'If we didn't have a joint venture partner we would look at it ourselves, but we wouldn't be able to develop it nearly as fast as with Koza,' he said.

Koza now has six more drilling targets in the area. Mr McGrattan said that drilling will continue until the commercial viability of the project can be proven.

IMC was incorporated in June 2011 and its shares began trading on the Plus market in October of that year. It transferred to the GXG in May 2012 after the closure of Plus.

The directors of the company at the time of its launch included company chairman Mr McGrattan and Neil Ring, who were major shareholders. Another major shareholder was Ring's sister-in-law, Lisa McDonnell.

The Irish Independent reports that currently in the pre-revenue stage, IMC made a loss of €223,122 in the year to the end of June 2014. This compared to a loss of €356,804 in the 2013 financial year.

Koza is a subsidiary of Koza Altin Isletmeleri, one of the largest gold mining companies in Turkey which has a market capitalisation of about $1bn.

Last year it produced almost 320,000 ounces of gold and has gold reserves of 4.2m ounces.

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