Category: Archive

Diamonds glitter in Donegal?

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Andrew Bushe

DUBLIN — Shares in a British exploration company have soared over hopes that it has found diamonds on mining prospects on Donegal’s Inishowen peninsula.

Cambridge Mineral Resources’ managing director, David Bramhill, said the company’s exploration is still at an early stage but it was looking "very, very good."

The Bristol-based company began prospecting in the area because it believed the geology of parts of Donegal is such that the rocks might have been subject to the enormous heat and stresses that compresses carbon and leads to the formation of diamonds.

The company has already spent several years taking stream and sediment samples in the area and getting them analyzed by independent consultants in Canada and Australia.

The company now plans to fly over its prospecting licenses to pick up magnetic responses, which will be analyzed by computer.

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"There is a lot of work to be done, but it is very encouraging," Bramhill told RTE. "Obviously we wouldn’t be spending a lot of money on this ‘ro-mag survey if we didn’t think we had more than a sporting chance."

He said the company has found an "abundance" of chromates — an indicator of diamonds — as well as sapphires, tourmaline and zircon.

Bramhill said there were about a dozen "pathfinder" minerals, chemicals and composites to look for when searching for diamonds and all have been found in Donegal. The company hopes an ‘rial survey will pinpoint the source within two large areas.

Cambridge Mineral Resources had decided to carry out the survey after getting advice from a number of major diamond companies that, Bramhill said, were "very impressed" with what had been found so far.

Shares in the company have gone up by 60 percent. Bramhill said it was a speculative stock and people must realize that until they actually find diamonds, it is a "very high-risk" business.

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