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Abstract

Introduction

The Lisheen deposit, County Tipperary, Ireland is a stratiform Zn-Pb deposit hosted in dolomitized Waulsortian limestone of Courceyan age. Lisheen is situated 130km southwest of Dublin and 10km northeast of Thurles, the nearest town (Fig. 1). Lisheen was discovered in April 1990 and the current resource is estimated to be 22.2Mt at 11.5% Zn, 1.9% Pb and 16% Fe, with 26 g/t Ag. The deposit is located close to the southeastern edge of the Rathdowney Trend, a 40km long northeast-southwest trending belt of carbonate rocks extending from Abbeyleix in County Laois to Thurles in County Tipperary (Fig. 1). A number of base metal deposits and sub-economic occurrences are hosted in the Lower Carboniferous limestones of the Rathdowney Trend. The Lisheen deposit lies southwest of the Galmoy deposit (Doyle et al. 1992). The Lisheen deposit is similar to the Silvermines zinc-lead deposit (10.7 Mt at 7.36% Zn and 2.70% Pb).

Base metal mineralization at Lisheen occurs principally in the hangingwall rocks of the Killoran and Derryville faults (Fig. 3). These east-west trending normal faults, with maximum displacements of approximately 200m, formpart of amajor 40km long relay fault system which extends along the Rathdowney Trend. The deposit consists of three principal zones of mineralization, the Main, Derryville and North zones. Mineralization extends 2km along the strike length of the fault system and approximately 1.5km to the north, in the hangingwall. Mineralization occurs as a series of massive to semi-massive stratiform sulfide lenses, as irregular zones of breccia/vein style sulphides and as

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