Gold miner seeks to extend Cononish processing trial

Scotgold boss Richard Gray wants to extend the miner's processing trial at Cononish. Picture: John Devlin

Scotgold boss Richard Gray wants to extend the miner's processing trial at Cononish. Picture: John Devlin

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The company behind Scotland’s first commercial gold mine is seeking to extend the lifespan of its processing trial at Cononish.

Scotgold Resources, which recently raised almost £46,000 by auctioning off the first ten coins minted from gold produced at its mine near Tyndrum, was granted planning permission in May by the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park to install a small-scale pilot plant and process about 2,400 tonnes of stockpiled ore over a nine-month period.

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The Aim-quoted firm, led by chief executive Richard Gray, now wants to extend its bulk processing trial (BPT) until the end of March 2018 after identifying “potential opportunities to further enhance the economics of the full-scale operation” at its £24 million mine project.

It said: “This initial BPT is progressing well and is scheduled for completion within the permitted timeframe.

“As it will take some time to fully explore and assess these opportunities, and to make full use of the existing pilot plant, the company considers it worthwhile to extend the period of the BPT.”

If permission is granted by the National Park authorities, Scotgold said it plans to process about 4,800 tonnes of additional material – the balance of its existing ore stockpile – over a period of about 12 months.

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