Gold miners unearth new deposits near historic Welsh pit

by Jonathan Adams
Gold miners

Alba Mineral Resources believes there is still a rich deposit of gold around the former Clogau mine

Gold miners in Wales have unearthed new deposits near a historic pit that supplied precious metal used in Royal wedding rings until it closed in the 1990s.

Drilling company Alba Mineral Resources believe there is still a rich deposit of gold around the former Clogau mine in north Wales, which was once so productive it sparked a mini gold-rush in 1862.

The mine shut in 1998 but Alba started drilling again in the area around the pit last year in the hope of finding fresh reserves.

Now bosses say their explorations were ‘more successful than we could reasonably have anticipated’ – and they have expanded their search from three to 10 drilling holes.

Mark Austin, Alba’s chief operating officer, said: All of our drilling to date has been aimed at providing us with critical geological and structural information on the lode systems previously mined at Clogau, so that we can assess if those same structures continue beyond the limits of the previously mined areas.

To this end, the drilling at Llechfraith has been more successful than we could reasonably have anticipated: the physical attributes of the veins that we have intersected in our drill holes reflect the characteristics of the veins that were successfully mined in the past, Austin said.

He said that while we should await the results of the drill core assays before reaching any preliminary conclusions, the significant dimensions of the Llechfraith Lode, as defined by the drilling so far completed, indicate that this could well be a significant contributor to future production at Clogau-St David’s.

Gold prices reached record levels last year as traders sought stable market investments during the pandemic.

It is believed there could be as many as 500,000 ounces of gold in the area that would be worth a staggering £700m, with gold currently selling at just under £1,400-an-ounce.

Clogau was once the largest and richest mine of all the gold mines in the region, with its raw materials a favourite of royalty.

After producing copper and a little lead for a few years, the mine developed into gold production in the 1862 ‘rush’ and continued as a major operator until 1911.

Since then the mine has been re-opened several times for smaller-scale operations, and most recently closed down operations in 1998.

Several exploration companies have made bids to restore the mine to production, but have struggled to locate the precious lode.

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