Wicklow on brink of a new gold rush
THERE'S gold in them thar hills -- and it could spark another gold rush to the Wicklow mountains.
That's what exploration groups believe as they begin a large-scale search.
Connemara and Hendrick Resources are exploring the south Wicklow area, near the Wexford border, in the hope of striking it rich -- the region was the scene of the Avoca gold rush in the 1790s.
Mining experts and locals are confident there is an Irish 'El Dorado' in the mountains.
"Previous exploration has discovered significant gold occurrences in rocks and rivers in the area of the Mine River licence block," Connemara said this morning.
The Mine River licence covers an area of approximately 130km.
Exploration field work will begin immediately and will include airborne and ground geophysics, geochemistry and subsequent drill testing.
John Teeling, chairman of Connemara Mining, said they were delighted with this joint venture.
"For over 200 years explorers have sought the source of the Avoca gold which led to the 1796 gold rush," he said.
The company said Dale Hendrick, founder of Hendrick, is a highly experienced successful figure in Canadian exploration.
"Hendrick is of the opinion that a commercial gold deposit remains to be found in south-east Ireland," said Mr Teeling.
"This is a view long held by the founders of Connemara.
"A fresh experienced eye and the application of new and improved exploration techniques, combined with our extensive database offers exciting prospects."
Hendrick will spend €500,000 for a 50pc interest in the licences and has the option to spend a further €500,000 to increase its stake to 75pc.