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New Discoveries May Spark Irish Gold Rush

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New Discoveries May Spark Irish Gold Rush

Ireland is usually better known for its medieval treasures and artifacts than its natural deposits of precious metals. However, geologists have found that there is actually much more gold and platinum in Ireland's streams and rivers than was previously imagined. Most of these discoveries were concentrated in the countries of Wicklow, Wexford, and Waterford.

Changing Landscape

Wicklow Mountains. Source: Irish Independent Wicklow Mountains. Source: Irish Independent

There are several regions of the country where it was already known that considerable amounts of gold were deposited. These include the aptly named Goldmines River and the Wicklow Mountains, which is also cut by a waterway. The Geological Survey of Ireland reconfirmed the presence of gold in these areas.

Similarly, the County Waterford was shown to have several streams containing "high gold values" in the Dungarvan to Stradbally areas. This backed up the local nickname for the region, the "Gold Coast."

The Geological Survey's report also noted that "new data identifies high gold values in streams that flow across and along the edges of the Leinster granite, a complex area long thought to be a source for the gold mineralisation in the region.

"The recently re-analysed data . . . also highlights a broad zone of gold in [County] Wicklow, north of the Sugar Loaf region where only small traces of the precious metal have been found previously."
Source: Irish Independent Source: Irish Independent
Moreover, a surprising amount of platinum was found on the Wicklow-Wexford border, southeast of towns called Aughrim and Tinahely. It's the first time any significant source of platinum has been identified in the area. The chairman of an Ireland-based gold exploration company, Richard Conroy, believes the discoveries "will encourage local and international companies to look at Ireland with more interest," creating as many as 200 to 300 new mining jobs in the immediate and as many as 1,000 new jobs over the following decade.

Irish Gold Rush?

gold-nuggetBefore anyone goes running out to the rivers to cash in on this news, there are a few things to consider.

According to Irish law, only licensed companies can actually extract significant amounts of the precious metals from the ground or using any motorized equipment. However, people can freely pan for a few grams of gold for recreational purposes. These are considered "souvenirs," and can only be sold with the permission of the government.

Nonetheless, on a larger scale, the discovery of platinum and gold could attract mining companies to operate in Ireland for the first time.


The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.

About the Author

Everett Millman

Everett Millman

Analyst, Commodities and Finance
Managing Editor

Everett has been the head content writer and market analyst at Gainesville Coins since 2013. He has a background in History and is deeply interested in how gold and silver have historically fit into the financial system.

In addition to blogging, Everett's work has been featured in CoinWeek, Advisor Perspectives, Wealth Management, Activist Post, and has been referenced by the Washington Post.

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