Written Answers. - Mining Industry.

Willie Penrose

Question:

98 Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the information he has received from the owners of a company (details supplied) regarding the plans for the future of the mine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10842/03]

As I said in reply to a similar question on 4 March 2003, my Department is in frequent communication with the company in question and I am kept apprised of the plans for the future of the mine which include underground extensions to the north and to the south-west of existing operations. My Department has on hands applications for state mining facilities for both of these extensions. I remain hopeful for the continuation of mining on this site for many years to come but am also mindful of the continuing difficult global market for base metals, particularly zinc. Against this background it is understandable that this companys parent company is keeping its operations under ongoing review.