Ireland

Tara Mine

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeUnderground
StatusCare and Maintenance
Commodities
  • Silver
  • Zinc
  • Lead
Mining Method
  • Longhole open stoping
  • Drift & Slash
Backfill type ... Lock
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotTara in Ireland is Europe's largest zinc mine and also one of the largest in a global comparison.

In 2023, the mine was placed under care and maintenance due to a combination of a declining zinc price, high energy prices, operational challenges and general cost inflation. Exploration underground towards Tara Deep is also suspended.

Boliden work on restarting operations at Tara by identifying conditions for a restart in 2024 with long-term sustainable production.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Boliden AB 100 % Indirect
Boliden Tara Mines DAC (operator) 100 % Direct
Boliden Tara Mines DAC is wholly owned subsidiary of Boliden Mineral AB part of the Boliden Group, Sweden.

Deposit type

  • Carbonate hosted

Summary:

The Navan Orebody is a world-class carbonate-hosted Zn-Pb deposit comprising complex tabular lenses within Lower Carboniferous limestones and excluding depletion, would be over 130Mt in size. Detailed descriptions of the geology are available in a number of publications of which Ashton et al., (2015) is the most recent. The discovery of the Tara Deep satellite and outline geology are summarized in Ashton et al., (2018).

Central Ireland comprises generally flat lying sequences of Lower Carboniferous limestones with common inliers of sedimentary Lower Palaeozic and Devonian rocks. The limestones are cut by numerous, locally syn-depositional NW to ENE trending major normal faults and these control the location of several carbonate hosted Zn-Pb deposits, of which Navan is by far the largest.

In eastern Ireland, the Carboniferous Limestones are part of the Dublin Basin, a significant feature that after extensional basin-margin faulting and later Hercynian inversion, exposes some large Lower Paleozoic inliers at its margins and exhibits some outliers of Namurian and later Permo-Triassic sediments.

The Navan Orebody is located on the footwall (northern) side of a major south-dipping normal fault that constitutes a basin margin controlling feature. The orebody itself is controlled by a complex array of Lower Carboniferous normal faulting and slides on the uplifted footwall of this major fault. The orebody generally dips at about 10-15 degrees to the WSW and comprises several, locally stacked, tabular stratiform to stratabound lenses, oriented in general concordance with the host limestones. The mineralisation ranges from a few meters to over 70m in vertical thickness. A major slide and overlying debris flow cuts the orebody obliquely and is also mineralized. The orebodies are effectively masked from the surface by a thick succession of deep-water calc-turbidites that comprise the Dublin Basin infill sequence.

Although there are number of significant lenses and fault blocks at Navan, >95% of the mineralisation occurs as sphalerite and galena in partly dolomitized limestones as complexly-textured replacements, veining and open-space infill where Zn:Pb ratios are typically around 4 or 5 to 1. Gangue mineralisation comprises subsidiary calcite, pyrite, marcasite, dolomite and barite. The remainder of the mineralisation occurs as massive pyritic lenses containing sphalerite and galena hosted by debris-flow conglomerates that overlie the deposit. This material contains often abundant fine-grained pyrite which has the potential of degrading the normally excellent metallurgy if not blended with normal run of mine ore.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

CommodityProductUnits202320222021202020192018201720162015
Lead Metal in concentrate kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe1617172017
Lead Concentrate kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe2929313734
Silver Metal in concentrate koz  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe5137433541
Zinc Metal in concentrate kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe122132131148133
Zinc Concentrate kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe223242239268243

Operational metrics

Metrics202320222021202020192018201720162015
Ore tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe2,480,018 t2,200,120 t2,312,988 t2,603,527 t
Tonnes milled  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe2,461 kt2,200 kt2,311 kt2,603 kt2,197 kt

Production Costs

CommodityUnits2023202220212020201920182017
C1 cash costs Zinc USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 0.86 / lb **   0.78 / lb **   0.7 / lb **  
** Net of By-Product.

Financials

Units2023202220212020201920182017
Capital expenditures M SEK  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 508   592   379  
Revenue M SEK  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 2,143   2,727   2,691  
Operating Income M SEK  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 283   798   942  

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.

Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Jun 10, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Jun 10, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Jun 10, 2024

EmployeesYear
...... Subscription required 2023
...... Subscription required 2022
...... Subscription required 2021
...... Subscription required 2020
...... Subscription required 2019
...... Subscription required 2018
...... Subscription required 2017

Aerial view:

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