A gold mine hasn't opened in Ireland for 2000 years.That was until last year. In January 2007, after modern prospecting techniques discovered recoverable gold at Cavanacaw near Omagh in Co Tyrone, the first modern gold mine came into production. "This is Ireland's first for two millennia", announced Galantas, the Canadian company who owns and operates it.
Back then the media grabbed the story eagerly, displaying titles such as" Irish gold 'yields local prosperity', "Ulster's Gold Rush", or sentences such as "The discovery of gold in Ireland's County Tyrone is heralding an "economic boom" for the area", and "Omagh's fortunes have been turned around by the mine."
The BBC also cast an excited eye on what was happening there. It announced that Galantas expected to produce 30,000 ounces of gold a year - which alone would net close to 15 million pounds. Deposits were claimed to hold 14 tonnes of Irish gold. And, last but not least, what the company had planned to do with the gold excited the imagination even more. While most was to be sold as gold concentrate, a small part of what the company billed as "rare Irish gold" was to be used to make a range of branded 18-carat jewellery - Galantas Irish gold jewellery.