Congratulations to iCRAG industry partner Boliden, where exploration at the Tara zinc mine has identified a new mineralisation with an inferred mineral resource of 10 Mtonnes.

Tara mine, which is one of the larger zinc mines in the world, accounts for half of Boliden’s production of zinc concentrate and employs 550 staff, not including contractors. Successful exploration has resulted in the discovery of a new mineralisation named Tara Deep. Furthermore, a proposed extension of the capacity of the tailings dam will provide sufficient capacity for production at current levels until 2026. Investment in the construction of an exploration drift and new tailings dam will total EUR 44m.

The new Tara Deep deposit has inferred mineral resources totalling 10 Mtonnes with a zinc grade of 8.5% and a lead grade of 1.8%. The mineralisation resembles Tara’s main ore body, but has a more complicated structure and is at a greater depth of between 1,200 and 1,900 m. In addition to identifying the Tara Deep deposit, successful exploration in the existing mine managed to replace virtually the entire year’s production in the mineral reserve.

Speaking today, iCRAG Director Prof. John Walsh said, “We are delighted that one of our industry partners has had a major exploration success and we look forward to contributing to further success. Extending the life of the Zn-Pb minerals industry in Ireland is one of the objectives of iCRAG and we are delighted to be working with Boliden to develop improved models for the origin, geometry and evolution of Irish Zn-Pb ores. This research better defines geological, geochemical and geophysical methods for the discovery of these ores and we look forward to continued technical collaborations with Boliden.”

John Ashton, Chief Exploration Geologist at Boliden Tara Mines Ltd. said, “Today’s announcement is a significant exploration success at Tara mine with the discovery of new mineralisation at depth, and an extension of the capacity of the tailings dam. Further collaboration with the technical expertise and experience available in iCRAG will help to support the future of exploration in Ireland.”