Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Avoca Copper Mines.

76.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce what are the prospects of the reopening of St. Patrick's Copper Mines, Avoca, County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement generally as to the position.

As the Deputy is aware, St. Patrick's Copper Mines have been kept on a care and maintenance basis since their closure in 1962 with a view to exploring the possibility of resumption of mining.

An option exercisable over a period of 30 months to purchase the assets of St. Patrick's Copper Mines Ltd., was granted on 16th September, 1966, to an international consortium. Until the consortium have assessed the results of their investigations and indicated their intentions for the future, I am not in a position to comment on the possibility of the mines being reopened.