Minister English says  €44 million investment in Tara Mines is “a vote of confidence in Navan and in Meath”

Action Plan for Jobs, Bohermeen, Innovation, Jobs, Meath, Navan, Research, Research and Innovation

Monday, 16th January 2017

The official confirmation of news last week that the Swedish owners of
Tara Mines, Boliden, intend to invest €44 million in the facility to
allow operations to continue up to 2026 and secrue 700 local jobs is “a vote of confidence
in Navan and in Meath” according to local Fine Gael T.D. and Minister
for Housing and Urban Renewal Damien English. “This is a good day for
our town and County, and for the workers” he said.

As a former Minister for Skills, Research and innovation from 2014 to
2016, the local Minister also wished to emphasise and compliment the
role that collaborative research and innovation between Science
Foundation Ireland and industry partners like Boliden had played in
making the investment happen.

“Boliden are an industry collaborator with the Science Foundation
Ireland iCRAG Research Centre and this new exploration find was part
of their collaborative research efforts. This is a great example of
the significant impact on our local and national economy and jobs,
that can come from collaborative research.  We need more research like
this both locally and nationally to ensure we continue to future proof
our economy and make it fit for the challenges of the 21st century”
Minister English said.

“Whilst local authorities and Governments do not create jobs, they are
crucial players in creating the right environment for jobs and
investment to thrive.  In that respect the Boliden announcement is an
endorsement of our strategies locally and nationally to make Meath a
destination of choice to invest in, start a business in, and live in.
Such strategies include the Meath County Council Economic Development
Plan, the National and Regional Action Plans for Jobs, and Horizon
2020 – our new science strategy launched during my time in the
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation” concluded Minister
English.

ENDS

Minister English highlights Tara Mines impact on Meath economy at national launch for €18 million in Geoscience research

Innovation, Jobs, Meath, Navan, Research and Innovation
Photo of Prof. Mark Ferguson, John Ashton, Chief Exploration Geologist, Boliden Tara Mines Limited and Minister English at iCrag Launch.

Photo of Prof. Mark Ferguson, John Ashton, Chief Exploration Geologist, Boliden Tara Mines Limited and Minister English at iCrag Launch.

RTE 6.1 News coverage: http://www.rte.ie/news/player/six-one-news-web/2015/1202/

On December 2nd local T.D. and Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English officially launched iCRAG, the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences. The new Research Centre will focus on the discovery, de-risking and sourcing of raw materials, water and energy resources that are critical to our economy locally and nationally Minister English said.

The centre will receive funding of €18 million from Minister English’s Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Research Centres Programme, with an additional €8 million from 55 industry partners that include Tara Mines owner Boliden, as well as Geoscience Ireland, Tullow Oil and Petroleum Infrastructure Programme.

Speaking at the announcement, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, said, “A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to continue to build on the major achievements in scientific research with a focus on turning great ideas into good, sustainable jobs and keeping our recovery going. iCRAG is an exciting new research centre which will ultimately grow jobs and support further participation in the STEM sector.”

Tara Mines

“Ireland has a 50 year history of zinc and lead mineral exploration and production. The industry has employed many people particularly in Meath – where Tara Mines is Europe’s largest zinc mine and the world’s ninth largest, it makes a major contribution to the economy of Navan and the wider county. We need to encourage and support industry in their efforts to find the next Navan, and extending the life of this important sector for our economy” Minister English said.

iCRAG will help companies de-risk the exploration for groundwater, hydrocarbons and minerals. This will ultimately help companies explore our natural resources for our benefit. At a time when 95% of our fossil fuels are imported, iCRAG research will help to decrease the risks of Irish exploration and attract more companies to invest in exploration. Security of access to energy is a critical issue for Ireland, given our huge dependence on imported fuels.

Clean Water

Security of access to clean water is a basic requirement for the people of Ireland. Surprisingly nearly 20% of that water comes from under the ground and has to be discovered by geologists. Modern industries are becoming more water hungry, e.g. the IT sector with Facebook’s location at Clonee in Co. Meath, and agri-business. Some of the main growth areas for Ireland are underpinned by the provision of secure supplies of water. iCRAG’s research will help to better discover and sustain these important sources of water.