Sinkhole appears near Co Kilkenny mine

Monday 17 February 2014 22.18
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The hole is 15m in circumference and 9m deep
The hole is 15m in circumference and 9m deep
The Department of Natural Resources is investigating the incident
The Department of Natural Resources is investigating the incident

A sinkhole has appeared in a field near Galmoy Mine in Co Kilkenny.

The hole is 15m in circumference and 9m deep.

The field and a nearby minor road were cordoned off.

A number of engineering assessments are being carried out to determine what caused the sinkhole.

A meeting took place between the Environmental Protection Agency, representatives of Galmoy Mine and the Department of Natural Resources.

Galmoy Mine is a lead and zinc mine 50km northwest of Kilkenny, owned by Lundin Mining.

The hole is in a field near the mine.

In a statement this afternoon, Vice President Technical Services Steve Gatley said the company in co-operation with the land owner has cordoned off the surrounding area.

The company said it will "also be investigating the matter fully over the coming days with independent hydro-geological and geotechnical support".

Kilkenny County Manager Joe Crockett said that preliminary assessments carried out on the sinkhole indicate that it is a one-off incident.

He told RTÉ's News At One that the sinkhole was reported on Saturday morning by the landowner who notified the mining company.

It in turn notified the statutory agencies, the county council, the Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr Crockett said engineering and hydro-geological assessments are being carried out and a full set of recommendations are expected to be made on Tuesday of next week.

He said the public will be fully briefed as information becomes available.

He said the main question concerns whether there is a risk to public safety.

The assessments done to date indicate there is no risk to public safety and no need for any evacuations.

He said there are no implications for housing or roads situated over the worked-out mine.