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Exploration potential: Karelian’s discovery of precious metals in Fermanagh

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A recent report from Karelian Diamond Resources PLC highlights significant potential for discovering precious metals in Fermanagh. The assessment, conducted by independent geological consultant Dr. Larry Hulbert, reinforces earlier findings indicating promising deposits of nickel, copper and platinum-group elements within the county.

Karelian has been actively exploring the Coonian and Brookeborough areas under granted licenses, initially focused on diamond prospecting. Subsequent sampling revealed mineralization rich in nickel, copper and platinum, prompting the company to initiate a comprehensive exploration program last year.

The new report by Dr. Hulbert compares Fermanagh’s geological attributes to renowned deposits like Norilsk in the Russian Arctic and the Baraga Basin in Michigan, US, known for their lucrative nickel, copper and platinum resources.

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Professor Richard Conroy, chairman of Karelian, expressed optimism: “Dr. Hulbert’s review is highly encouraging, highlighting geological similarities with areas associated with world-class deposits of nickel, copper and platinum.”

Dr. Hulbert’s assessment identified several promising exploration targets locally, paving the way for further investigation. “The review confirms the potential for major discoveries on Karelian’s Northern Ireland licenses,” Mr. Conroy added, underscoring the company’s commitment to exploring the identified targets.

Nickel and platinum, essential for electric vehicle batteries and emissions control systems, respectively, are in high demand amid growing environmental consciousness. Despite their utility, concerns about environmental and health impacts from mining these metals persist, particularly evident in regions like Norilsk, where extensive pollution has long been a pressing issue.

While the ethical implications differ from lithium and graphite mining, the environmental challenges associated with nickel and platinum extraction are significant. The example of Norilsk underscores the importance of responsible mining practices to mitigate environmental harm and ensure sustainable resource development.

Karelian’s exploration efforts in Fermanagh represent a potential economic boon tempered by the imperative of environmentally conscientious practices, aiming to balance resource extraction with environmental stewardship.

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