A day in the life at Dalradian – Michael Meenan

I’m from the Gortin area originally and the Curraghinalt exploration site is on my doorstep. My family has been living in the area for generations and I’ve watched as the gold deposit has been developed over the years and how it has provided employment to people from the area. The exploration site has been part of the landscape since I was young and across  the decades work has been ongoing on it.  But this time is the most concerted effort to develop this resource which is literally under our feet.  I’ve been working with Dalradian since 2015. I applied for a job with the company after reading an advert in a local paper. It has been a great opportunity to work with a very professional company and to be able to work close to home.

I’m a joiner by trade.  Before I started with Dalradian, I was working in Belfast, like a lot of people from this part of Tyrone.  When the drilling for the exploration work began it was great, because it provided lots of job opportunities for local people. At the minute I work as a core-shed assistant at the main office in Omagh.  I have a range of duties.  I photograph and catalogue the core and help the technicians and geologists with the work they do on the core, which is to examine it to better determine where the minerals lie. 

I also cut the core.  As a former joiner, I have been able to use my skills in carpentry in my work with Dalradian.  A lot of people from a lot of different trades work with Dalradian.  The skills that people use in trades such as joinery or plumbing are easily transferred to the work that Dalradian is carrying out and the company is very supportive in terms of training and development. I also make sure that the core is stored securely and update the database so that we know where the core is at all times, in case we would need to re-examine it.  Examining the core at the shed is a crucial part of Dalradian’s work as ultimately the results help the geologists determine where the gold veins lie and how best to extract the gold from beneath surface.

It makes complete sense to mine for gold and we are lucky in west Tyrone to have such a resource beneath our feet.  It’s also significant that the company involved is Dalradian, whom I know from experience do everything to the highest standards and are prepared to invest in the project.  From a personal point of view, working with Dalradian has improved my life.  There’s no more travelling to Belfast and elsewhere and the company is very supportive and professional in their approach.  I have benefited from Dalradian and I would like others to as well.




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