At the Irish Mining & Quarrying (IMQS) Annual Dinner in Dublin last Saturday 26th November, Sean Kyne TD, Minister of State for Natural Resources, outlined substantial progress in several key areas and reiterated government support in addressing problematic issues facing the industry.
On mine safety, Minister Kyne noted the recent success of Ireland’s Mine Rescue Team at its first appearance at the International Mine Rescue Competition held in Canada in June; the Tara Mines Team came second of 28 teams from 13 countries. Boliden Tara Mines remains Ireland’s only producing zinc/lead mine following the recent closure of mines at Lisheen and Galmoy. However, mineral exploration in Ireland is buoyant with over 500 licences in issue and a further 150 under application, auguring well for the future. Ireland’s regulatory regime also continues to rank highly in the Annual Survey of Mining Companies conducted by Canada’s Fraser Institute; Ireland ranks first of 109 countries in the Policy Perception Index and 4th in Investment Attractiveness.
Minister Kyne outlined continuing government support for the TELLUS regional surveys and the Geoscience Ireland job support programme of the Geological Survey and for the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG). He noted the recovery in the aggregate industries, a reflection of the continued buoyancy of the latest Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) published by Ulster Bank. The Minister acknowledged the difficulties surrounding planning in general and for quarries in particular, noting that if we are to address our acute housing shortage, we need quarry products to be readily available.
Welcoming the Minister’s Address, Sean Finlay of Geoscience Ireland commented:
“We were delighted at Minister Sean Kyne’s support for the extractive industries and for the Geoscience Ireland (GI) job creation initiative, which is supported by the Geological Survey and Enterprise Ireland. GI comprises 28 companies providing services to infrastructure development and extractive industries in 50 countries. ”
Please see link for Minister’s full speech: imqs_annual-dinner_mos_2016