Diamond Mine in Ireland

Karelian Diamonds looks ready to start prospecting in Ireland if the recent article in the Fermangh Herald is anything to go by. See the historic article from the Irish Times where Professor Conroy talks enthusiastically of creating "in the region of 100 to 150 jobs", though later admits it's "very unlikely" a diamond mine will ever come to pass.

Our Response

Whilst diamond prospecting and subsequent mining is far less environmentally invasive than e.g. gold or base metals, it is unlikely that KDR under new management would pursue this project at the present time.

Geologically it is a very high risk proposal. The source of the 1816 discovery may well be a fortuitous coincidence. That diamond was probably derived from Dalradian-age metamorphic rocks which were derived in turn from the Proterozoic terrains (over 550 million years ago) in what is now Scandinavia, North America and Greenland. At the time Northern Ireland and Northern Scotland were not part of the European continent. It is highly unlikely that a primary source (kimberlite) is located near-by in Northern Ireland,  especially given that no subsequent discoveries have been made in over 200 years. If anything, it is likely the diamond came from a small and low grade palaeo-placer (a "fossilized" alluvial deposit), likely of very low or sub economic grade. Similar such nominally diamond-bearing ancient metamorphic sediments are known from Africa, South America and Canada and are not of economic interest. In this instance, traditional methods such as searching for garnet etc. is unlikely to work.

The diamond is also not of good quality. Archive images show it to be a brown or "cognac" colour.

Karelian chairman rejects claims by shareholders

Karelian Diamond Resources’ directors have put about £2 million sterling (€2.25 million) of their own money into the company, says its chairman, Prof Richard Conroy.

Shareholders who own 17 per cent of Karelian want to oust Prof Conroy and others from the company’s board, saying that they have spent £4.1 million of the £7.9 million that it has raised on directors’ salaries.

Prof Conroy rejected this yesterday, saying that directors have contributed £2 million of the total raised by Karelian, while they have regularly taken shares in the company in lieu of their salaries.

Irish Times, 11th June 2019

Our Response

In reality management have charged over €3m in fees over a period of which €2m has been converted into equity at an ever decreasing share price resulting in Professor Conroy maintaining a controlling shareholding and more and more dilution to other shareholders

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