JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Toronto-headquartered Galantas Gold is continuing with underground development at its Omagh gold mine, in Northern Ireland, after a court ruling denied a third-party request to set aside planning consent.
The Belfast High Court on Friday delivered judgment in a judicial review into the planning consent that the Department of Environment Northern Ireland (DOENI) granted in 2015. The consent permits the underground mining of gold veins that were recently worked in upper levels of Omagh’s openpit.
A third party has tried to quash the consent, claiming that the DOENI had breached regulations.
Galantas said the planning consent was the result of “exhaustive study and examination” by the DOENI, which is now in the Department for Infrastructure. The consent included a number of conditions, including monitoring and restoration matters.
Galantas CEO Roland Phelps points out that the Omagh operation, in county Tyrone, boasts “excellent past environmental performance”.
“The processing plant uses a nontoxic, froth-flotation process to produce gold concentrate which is exported via Belfast to a well-regulated Canadian smelter. No cyanide or mercury is used. Regular water monitoring demonstrates compliance with regulatory standards and there is no acid rock drainage at the site.”
The processing plant and tailings facility at Omagh is on standby, awaiting mineralised material from the underground mine.
Underground development is under way and the company has a plan to accelerate progress, in line with the confirmed consent. The plan, Phelps says, includs additional employment opportunities locally.
An underground mine at Omagh is expected to produce 27 542 oz over a six-year mine life, with output peaking at 36 411 oz/y in the third year of operations. About 157 700 t of ore will be processed in the six years.
Shares in Galantas were suspended early on Friday, but surged when trading resumed following a positive outcome to the judicial review. The company’s stock on the Aim fetched 7p in the late afternoon, compared with 5.12p before trading was suspended.
Galantas is also listed on the TSX-V.