Scotgold Resources goes panning for deals in Europe

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Precious metals miner Scotgold Resources is looking for acquisition opportunities across Europe as it continues to develop plans for Scotland’s first commercial gold mine.

Chief executive Richard Gray told The Scotsman that the Aim-quoted firm would look to buy assets “at a more advanced stage” than its Cononish scheme in the Loch Lomond at the Trossachs National Park, where production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2017.

In January, Scotgold said that an independent mineral resource estimate found there were measured and indicated resources of 248,000 ounces of gold at the site – an increase of 201 per cent on earlier estimates.

Once up and running, the Cononish mine would employ about 60 people, and Gray said: “There are plenty of people in the area looking for a stable alternative to seasonal tourism work.”

He also predicted that customers would be willing to pay a premium for Scottish gold in the knowledge it had been produced “locally and ethically”.

Gray, formerly of West Africa-focused gold miner Avocet, took the helm at Scotgold in October following a boardroom shake-up that saw previous chief Chris Sangster step back to a non-executive role.