A massive untapped gold mine has been discovered in Co Monaghan.

The mine, found by Conroy Diamonds and Gold, is believed to be the biggest gold mine ever found in Ireland or the UK.

The company issued a formal announcement to the London Stock Exchange that the area outside Clontibret has more than one million ounces of gold.

Company chairman Professor Richard Conroy said it was a substantial amount of gold by any standards and that he was delighted at the find.

Mr Conroy added that a feasibility study is now under way and that at current gold prices, he believes it should make economic sense to mine. Work could begin in less than two years' time.

Although the grade of the gold in Co Monaghan is relatively low by world standards, the sheer size of the find and the surging prices of gold mean it could still be hugely profitable.

Costs of building and running the mine are estimated at around two-thirds of the value of the unexploited resources which, at present prices, could see a return of €190m.