Exploration company Conroy Gold and Natural Resources has announced "highly encouraging results" from the Aughnagurgan zinc target in the Longford Down Massif. 

Conroy said that 23 of the 65 samples collected recorded values greater than 500ppm zinc over an area of 68.7 Ha at Aughnagurgan. 

The company said that ten of the samples were reported as being greater than 1,000ppm zinc, with the overall range being from 74ppm to 3,700ppm zinc.

The results also indicated the presence of a range of associated elements including lead, cadmium, manganese and nickel, it added. 

The zinc zone in the Longford-Down Massif lies to the south of the new district scale gold trend which the company has discovered in the Massif and where, at Clontibret, the company proposes to develop its first gold mine.

The Longford-Down Massif has an established history of base metal mining including the Antimony mines at Clontibret, where gold was first discovered.

It also has a series of shallow lead and zinc mines which were worked in the 19th century forming what was known as the Armagh- Monaghan mining district. 

Professor Richard Conroy, the company's chairman, said he was particularly pleased at the highly encouraging results from the Aughnagurgan zinc target. 

"Management has a track record of successful involvement in base metals in Ireland, its discovery and development of the Galmoy zinc orebodies leading to the revival of the Irish base metals industry and the recognition of Ireland as a world class zinc province," Professor Conroy said. 

"The Longford-Down Massif is enriched with base metals, as well as gold, and has a significant history of mining for base metals, including zinc, lead, copper and antimony which demonstrate the size and extent of the metalliferous system in the Massif and its mining potential for both gold and base metals," he added.

Professor Conroy also said the company has recently signed a letter of intent with Demir Export for a proposed joint venture over the 12 licences held by Conroy Gold in the Longford-Down Massif. 

Demir Export is a long established mining company with interests in iron, coal, gold and base metals, including zinc and copper, in Turkey.

"Demir Export has the mining expertise and the financial resources not only to bring the Clontibret gold deposit to construction ready status and into operation as a mine, but also to advance the significant gold potential of the other licences along the gold trend to the same status and also the base metal potential of the Massif," the Professor added.