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Abstract

Introduction

The Keel zinc-lead deposit is located on the southern side of a Lower Paleozoic inlier at Keel, County Longford, in the northern portion of the Irish Midlands. The deposit was discovered in 1962 by Rio Tinto Finance and Exploration Ltd during regional reconnaissance stream-sediment sampling. Diamond drilling and underground development established 1.85Mt of indicated and inferred reserves grading 7.71% Zn, 1.04% Pb, 0.12% Cd, 39.6 g/t Ag (Slowey, 1986). Development work on the project was suspended in 1968. Sulfides occur within a fracture stockwork and as disseminations in the Upper Devonian-Lower Carboniferous Old Red Sandstone and the Lower Carboniferous Navan Group carbonate rocks. Subsequent exploration located a stratiform barite - iron sulfide - sphalerite body with minor galena near the base of the Waulsortian limestone at Garry cam, less than 1 km east of the Keel shaft. Garrycam contains 1.35Mt grading 36.14% BaS04, 2.67% Zn, and 0.18% Pb; a higher grade barite zone within the deposit has been identified with 0.63Mt at 65.48% BaS04-

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