A major ‘sinkhole’ has appeared in the centre of a field near an underground mine at Galmoy, located in the Rathdowney Trend, Co Kilkenny, just seven miles from the Tipperary border. Galmoy Mine is a lead and zinc mine owned by Lundin Mining.
The Rathdowney Trend, stretches 40 kilometres, between the towns of Abbeyleix in Laois and Thurles in Co Tipperary. The mining area is the largest producer of zinc concentrate in Europe and is made up of sedimentary rock, primarily limestones, which were concentrated some 320 million years ago.
This sinkhole was reported on Saturday morning last by the current landowner, who notified the mining company of the occurrence.
The sinkhole measures around 15m in circumference and approximately 9m in depth and the mining company in co-operation with the land owner has cordoned off the immediate area and a nearby minor road, while hydro-geological and geotechnical support engineering carry out assessments to determine the true cause. Assessments completed to date indicate there are no immediate risks to public safety and no need for any evacuations.
It is also understood that meetings are taking place between the Environmental Protection Agency, representatives of Lundin Mining and the Department of Natural Resources.