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Alba starts drilling on its Limerick base metal project

Alba Limerick Project in red, with other operators including Group Eleven and Glencore Zinc shown in close proximity. Map: Alba Resources
Alba Limerick Project in red, with other operators including Group Eleven and Glencore Zinc shown in close proximity. Map: Alba Resources
Published by
Simon Matthis - 17 May 2019

Alba Resources announced that drilling has commenced on its Limerick Base Metals Project in Ireland.

Alba's Executive Chairman, George Frangeskides, commented:

"This excellent news that drilling has commenced at Limerick means that we have now hit all our principal objectives for our mining operations in this quarter (Q2 2019): we have announced a maiden resource estimate for our 100% owned Thule Black Sands Project; we have completed Phase 1 of our regional exploration campaign at Clogau in Wales; and we have now commenced drilling in Ireland.

"The Irish Zinc Ore Field has been a major source of zinc production since the 1960s and is host to some very significant, high-grade zinc mines, not least the Tara Mine, with an ore body of ~110 million tonnes at a grade of 9.8% zinc and 2.6% lead, making it the largest zinc/lead deposit in Europe.  Also, Glencore's Pallas Green deposit which has a resource of 42 Mt @ 8% zinc.

"Of the only five drill holes previously completed on Alba's Limerick Project, one drill hole intercepted six metres of semi-massive and disseminated pyrite within the target limestone, including a two-metre mineralised interval containing zinc.  The presence of pyrite is encouraging since it often indicates the presence of base metal sulphides at other properties in the Limerick basin.

"I will be on site in Limerick today to see the progress of drilling for myself, and I look forward to reporting on the results in due course.”

The geology of the licence area is dominated by Waulsortian Reef Limestone Formation and the underlying Ballysteen Formation. This sequence is inferred to subcrop in the west and south of Alba’s Project area. These units represent the host and footwall lithology respectively for most of the Zn-Pb deposits in the Irish Midlands. Historically, only five drillholes have been completed within Alba’s Project area, one by Alba and four by former JV partner Teck Resources. These low levels of drilling are unusual in the Irish context and for this reason, the area is considered under-explored.