This field trip has been cancelled. We apologize for this inconvenience and hope that you will consider joining us for one of the other events should they be of interest to you.

Post-Conference Field Trip | FT04   View all field trips

Ireland Zinc-Lead Province: Exploration and Mining in a Developed Environment

Date: August 30 - September 7, 2023

Location: Departing from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and returning to Galway, Ireland

Leaders: Aoife Brady and John Kelly

Attendee Maximum: 18

20% of spaces are reserved for students and offered at a discounted rate.



The 9-day field trip will convene in Belfast City Airport before moving north for overnight stay in Portrush, including a health-safety and logistics briefing and presentation of Ireland’s gold metallogeny. Day 2 will be a relaxed tour of the Giant's Causeway UNESCO site followed by a visit to the world-famous Bushmills Whiskey Distillery.

Day 3 will see a return to technical matters with a visit to the surface and underground facilities at the 6 Moz Curraghinalt gold project. Precious metals will remain the focus of Day 4 with a morning visit to Ireland's only operating gold mine at Cavanacaw, before traveling south to Dublin. Day 5 will begin with a set of presentations from early-career professionals at iCRAG, the SFI Research Centre in Applied Geosciences on the current and on-going research being conducted into the Irish Zinc-Lead Province. There will also be an opportunity to see the 8th century Book of Kells before traveling to the World Heritage Site of the Newgrange Neolithic monument – older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza.

The following days will focus on issues associated with exploration and mining of Zn-Pb in a developed environment. Other visits include New Boliden's Tara mining operation – Europe's largest zinc mine, on Day 6, where the focus will be on the discovery of Tara Deep (28 Mt) - exploration methodology, mineral rights, TSF management, and social-environmental issues associated with operating contiguous to a growing conurbation.

Day 7 will study the successful closure, and socio-economic contribution of both the Lisheen and Galmoy mines will be a focus of attention, as will the re-development plans at Galmoy. Day 8 will begin with a visit to the historic Silvermines area, the type example of Irish-type deposits, and then on to the on-going exploration projects being conducted by Glencore at Pallas Green and Group Eleven at Stonepark. The final day of the trip will include a visit to the unique karstic landscape of the UNESCO World Heritage Burren and Cliffs of Moher, before visiting the world-class ALS OMAC Laboratory. The trip will then conclude in Galway in time for participants to attend the Welcome Reception for the IAEG-50 Conference (IAEG - IAEG 50) which will focus on 50 years of global research on Irish-type Zinc-Lead deposits.

View all field trips

About the Leaders


Aoife Brady


Aoife is the Industry and Research Programme Manager at iCRAG – the SFI Research Centre in Applied Geosciences hosted by University College Dublin. She is responsible for managing the Centre's Research Programme and its programme of industry partner engagement. Aoife graduated with a B.Sc. Hons in Earth Science from University of Galway in 2006 after which she completed a Ph.D. in carbonatites, kimberlites, and lamprophyres also in University of Galway. Following this, she worked as an exploration geologist for 4.5 years on the Songwe Hill Carbonatite Project with Rare Earth Element (REE) exploration company, Mkango Resources, in southern Malawi, Africa. She then changed direction and took up the role of Geodata Product Manager at International Geoscience Services (IGS) Ltd., based at the British Geological Survey (BGS) in Nottingham, where she helped develop the company's new mineral prospectivity software. Before joining iCRAG, Aoife made the move to the Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) where she managed, Tellus, the GSI's ground and airborne data acquisition programme.


John Kelly

SLR Consulting

John has 30+ years of experience in base metal, aggregates and industrial mineral exploration and resource assessment and preparation of Stock Exchange compliant resource assessments for same, including Pan-European Standard for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Reserves (PERC), Canadian Nation Instrument NI43-101, The South African Code for the Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (SAMREC) and the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (JORC).

Initially working in carbonate-hosted base metal and precious metal exploration in Ireland, North America, Pakistan, Greenland, Turkey, Poland, and West Africa, since 2000 he has also gained wide experience of exploration, resource assessment and EIA preparation for the mining, aggregate, industrial minerals, and major infrastructure development sectors. John has undertaken numerous geotechnical assessments of quarries and also been involved in a number of large-scale ground investigation programs for major infrastructure projects.

John is a founder member and past-President of the Institute of Geologists of Ireland. He is also a founder member of the European Federation of Geologists, an honorary member of the Irish Association for Economic Geology and a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, the Institute of Quarrying and the Geotechnical Society of Ireland.

Itinerary (Preliminary)

Day 1 - Wednesday, August 30

  • Day: London - Belfast City Airport
  • Evening: Talk - GSNI - NI potential and opportunities, Garth Earls - Gold in NI. Leaders: Aoife Brady and John Kelly.
  • Overnight: Portrush

Day 2 - Thursday, August 31

  • Day: Giants Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bushmills Distillery the world's oldest licensed whiskey distillery. Leaders: Aoife Brady and John Kelly.
  • Overnight: Portrush

Day 3 - Friday, September 1

  • Day: Curraghinalt (6Moz deposit) initially discovered in 1983, currently in the permitting process. Leaders: Aoife Brady, John Kelly, and Brian Kelly.
  • Overnight: Omagh, Silverbirch Hotel

Day 4 - Saturday, September 2

  • Morning: Cavanacaw, Ireland's only operating gold mine. Leaders: Brendan Morris, Aoife Brady, and John Kelly.
  • Evening: Travel to Dublin.
  • Overnight: Pillo Ashbourne

Day 5 - Sunday, September 3

  • Morning: Seminar organized by the SEG Student Chapters at NUI and TCD on the on-going research by iCRAG (SFI Research Centre in Applied Geosciences) and GSI, with focus on Irish Zn-Pb Province; Venue - TCD. Leaders: Aoife Brady, John Kelly, Murray Hitzman, John Guven, Koen Torremans (UCD-iCRAG); Eoin McGrath (GS); SEG Chapters.
  • Evening: Newgrange prehistoric monument World Heritage Site. Social Evening (TBC).
  • Overnight: Pillo Ashbourne

Day 6 - Monday, September 4

  • Day: Tara (1979-to-date; 125Mt @ 10% Zn+Pb) - focus on the discovery of Tara Deep (28Mt) - exploration methodology, mineral rights, TSF management, social – environmental issues associated with operating contiguous to an urban conurbation. Leaders: Ian Farrelly, Aoife Brady, and John Kelly.
  • Overnight: Pillo Ashbourne

Day 7 - Tuesday, September 5

  • Day: Lisheen (1999-2015, 22.4Mt @ 13.6% Zn+Pb) visit will focus on site rehabilitation, windfarm, National Bio-Economy Campus, socio – economic impact of operations on the area. Galmoy (1999-2009, 8.0Mt @14% Zn + Pb) won the "International Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice" is being redeveloped as a 10-year operation producing circa 200ktpa of X-ray sorted ore. Leaders: Aoife Brady, John Kelly, John Guven, Stephen Weston, and Alan Buckley.
  • Overnight: Horse & Jockey, Thurles

Day 8 - Wednesday, September 6

  • Day: Silvermines (1968-1983, 17.7Mt @ 8.9% Zn+Pb has a mining history dating back to the 13th century). The adjacent Magcobar open-pit barite deposit (5Mt @ 85% BaSO4) closed in 1993 and is now the location of a proposed pumped storage hydroelectric power plant. Review of drill cores from the Limerick District, the current focus of intensive exploration with several significant discoveries – Pallas Green (44Mt @ 8.6% Zn+Pb) and Stonepark (5Mt @ 11.3% Zn+Pb). Leaders: Aoife Brady, John Kelly, Colin Andrew, Mark Holdstock, and Norman Dupras.
  • Overnight: Limerick., on Shannon side

Day 9 - Thursday, September 7

  • Morning: Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark - karst, botany, archaeology. Leader: Eamon Doyle.
  • Evening: ALS Laboratory, Loughrea. Option to depart from Shannon or continue to Galway for IAEG ice breaker.

Day 10 - Friday, September 8 (Optional)

IAEG Conference. A separate registration is required for this event.


IAEG members may qualify for SEG Professional Member rates for this trip - please inquire with IAEG for further details.

Early Deadline: June 30, 2023
Regular Deadline: August 11, 2023

  Early Regular
SEG Professional Member US$3,495 US$3,595
SEG Student Member US$1,495 US$1,595
Non-member US$3,595 US$3,695
All prices are in United States dollars (USD). SEG reserves the right to cancel this event should minimum attendance numbers not be met by June 30, 2023. All registrants will be given a full refund should SEG cancel the course. Cancellation policy, event photography, dietary restrictions, and more are detailed in the SEG Conference terms and conditions.